The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC

From the registers
Congratulations to:
David Noble and Mikaela Hoy who were married in Somersham church on July 10th
Ian Bodsworth and Rachel Crickmore who were married in Offton church on July 31st
Nicholas Parker and Ruth Dickson who were married in Offton church on August 14th

Farewell to:
Kathleen Mary Bowers, aged 68 years, whose funeral took place on July 16th at Ipswich Crematorium, and whose ashes are buried with Jim's in Offton churchyard.
Our thoughts and prayers are with daughters Julie, Paula and Kerry and their families at Somersham, brother Percy Thorpe of Offton, and sisters Glady, Peggy and Margaret.

May she rest in peace


Gospel Readings for our Sunday Worship taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It is good to be sharing the reading of Scripture with Christians - both Catholic and Protestant - across the world.

3rd October 17th Sunday after Trinity Luke 17. 5-10

10th October 18th Sunday after Trinity Luke 17. 11-19

17th October 19th Sunday after Trinity Luke 18. 1-8

24th October Last Sun. after Trinity/Bible Sunday Luke 4. 16-24

31st October Fourth Sunday before Advent Luke 19. 1-10

Somersham Church Notes

We hope you have got your tickets for the Harvest Concert and Supper on Friday 8th October. If not, see ad for more details.

For those of you who like quizzes there will be a Trivia Quiz on Friday 12th November. Again see advert for more information.

Somersham Church's Harvest Festival is on Sunday 10th October at 10am. Gifts brought to the service will once again be taken to the Women's Refuge in Ipswich, so non-perishable items, or produce that will not deteriorate in a few days, will be gratefully accepted.

Thank you to those who manned the church for the Historic Churches Bike Ride. Unfortunately there weren't any cyclists for Somersham Church this year.

Somersham PCC meets on Monday 11th October at 7.45pm at The Willows.

St Mary's Church Somersham

Trivia Quiz
on Friday 12th November
in Somersham Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Teams of 6, £2.50 per person
Bring own drinks & glasses
Book your team's place by contacting
Christine's Haircare, Pat Woolhouse,
or Somersham Garage.
10% of profit will go to St. Elizabeth's Hospice

St Mary's Church Somersham
Harvest Concert
with Suffolk Police Choir

on Friday 8th October
at 7.30pm

Tickets £6
(including Ploughman's supper)
from Christine's Haircare, Somersham Garage
or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

10% of profit will go to St. Elizabeth's Hospice

.........Exam Success.........

Congratulations to all piano pupils of Mrs. Lynne Holton of Somersham who achieved passes in their Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Exams. Well done to:

Aaron Beckett - Grade 6 Merit in the practical exam. Also to Alice Wilden - Distinction Grade 2 and Aoife McCarthy - Merit Grade 2.

Also to Jean Hardman, Alice Wilden and David Wade who all achieved a Distinction in their Grade 3 Theory Exam.

Keep up the good work!

Somersham & District Community Association

Summer holiday breaks have not impeded the progress slowly being made on the Playing Field Project. The planning application notice actually appeared by the playing field on 12th August! At last we can begin to believe it really will happen. So far Living Spaces has promised £64,225 providing we can match the figure from other sources; £33,000 has been confirmed in matched funding. This includes £10,000 from Suffolk Environmental Trust, £16,000 from Section 106 planning gains, £5,000 from Ros Scott's Amenity Fund (Ros is our County Councillor) and £2,000 from Somersham Parish Council. The hunt for more money is still going on. Somersham Parish Council also agreed to purchase and pay for the installation of two of the much wanted seats on the playing field. Like everything else connected with this project the regulations involved take longer to sort out than it takes to make the seats in the first place.

Nicky Heming
Communications Officer
Tel: 01473 831594 Ref: LinkCN 3


Regular readers may recall previous articles about the exploits of the Somersham/Offton long distance walkers. Having completed the 'Coast to Coast' in Northern England and the 'West Highland Way' in Scotland, our intrepid adventurers last year decided that it was Wales' turn and so headed off to Chepstow to begin walking the Offa's Dyke Path. The path closely follows the course of the ancient border between England and Wales and, along much of its route, the earthwork defences built by King Offa in the 8th century.

Last year, we made it as far as Knighton, approximately half way, but that left a significant feeling of 'unfinished business' and so it was that 5 of us (Steve Woolhouse, Terry Fordham, James Crickmore, Richard Browne and Steve Dines) headed back to Knighton at the end of June to tackle the remaining 100 miles or so. To take advantage of suitably located accommodation, the plan this time involved 7 days walking with distances ranging between 12 and 17 miles per day.

On leaving Knighton we passed the official Offa's Dyke centre and, after pausing for photographs by the stone commemorating the official opening of the path in 1971 (by Lord Hunt of Everest fame, no less), headed up the valley of the River Teme. Before long we were climbing the steep sides of Panpunton Hill, the first of many such climbs that day. The guidebook refers to this section of the walk as the 'switchback' and describes the day's walking as 'the toughest part of the whole route' - a good way to start then! Nevertheless, after a strenuous day's exercise, we arrived at Little Brompton Farm, near Montgomery, a delightful place in which to spend the night. Because of its isolated location, our host offered to take us in to Montgomery to enable us to find a meal - a generous gesture since it meant two trips each time. Our part of the bargain meant that we had to be ready to return about 9 pm so we had an early night that night. I didn't hear anyone complain though.

Day 2 initially gave a temporary respite from steep climbs. Although we were surrounded on all sides by hills, our path remained comfortingly flat for a time. It is noticeable on much of this northern half of the path just how much of the original dyke still exists and in many places it is still easy to appreciate both what an effective defence it must have been and how much effort must have gone in to building it.

On the Welsh border, walks don't stay flat for long and we were soon climbing again, this time up to the hill fort of Beacon Ring, above Welshpool. A long, steep descent took us to the banks of the River Severn and another lovely farmhouse on the outskirts of Welshpool.

Day 3 is often labelled 'the dull bit', mainly because of the near (but not quite) absence of steep hills. However, anyone who finds a walk which takes in the banks of the River Severn and a stretch of the Montgomery Canal dull is, to my mind, somewhat lacking in their ability to appreciate some of the finer points of the British countryside. Being a water lover, I found it fascinating. The day's walk led us to another remote farmhouse, this one so remote that we decided to stay in for the evening and avail ourselves of the wonderful home cooking on offer. We had taken the precaution, however, of making sure we had a few cans and bottles in the suitcases so that we could once again relax over a pint or two. The conversation during these evenings was wide ranging and stimulating and covered trivial topics such as the rights and wrongs of speed cameras and how to solve the Middle East situation as well as more taxing discussions such as the one on film and television 'westerns'.

By the end of day 4 we had entered true mountain country as, having picnicked by Chirk Castle and crossed the Dee valley via Thomas Telford's magnificent Pont Cysyllte aqueduct, we arrived in Llangollen. At the same time, we left the Dyke behind, its northernmost point being where it appears to fall into the Llangollen Canal. The views on approaching the town in late afternoon sunshine were wonderful and almost made up for the fact that we had to trek some 2 or 3 miles off our route to find the Bryn Derwen Hotel, our accommodation for the night. The landlord was very accommodating, however and gave us lifts, into town for the evening and to our restart point the next morning.

During the next 3 days of mountain walking we traversed the Panorama Walk, passed through World's End and walked the whole length of the Clwydian Hills, including reaching the highest point on Moel Fammau. From here, the magnificent views stretched from Snowdonia in the west round to Liverpool and the Lancashire towns to the north, the Cheshire Plain to the east and the route by which we had come to the south.

For the two nights on this stretch we stayed at a comfortable motel (with a very relaxing jacuzzi) and a country house at Sodom, not the den of iniquity that its name suggests but a picturesque hamlet set high on a hill. It was here that Richard celebrated his wedding anniversary by allowing himself the one 'full Welsh breakfast' of the trip. The rest of us, it must be said, had succumbed to that temptation on every other day but one!

Journey's end was on the beach at Prestatyn, reached by a steep descent of the cliff at the northern end of the Clwydian Hills, followed by a mile or so walk along the High Street amongst all the 'bucket and spade' holidaymakers! Luckily, the tide was in so we didn't have quite so far to go to complete our walk by striding out into the Irish Sea, feeling very pleased with our achievements.

(Footnote: On the sea wall at Prestatyn is a building which houses the Tourist Information Centre and also purports to be the Offa's Dyke Centre. Inside, half of the room is taken up with a display about the walk that we had just completed and there is a book which Dyke walkers can sign but we were struck by the total lack of interest shown by the staff in there. Granted, we were offered a pen, but no words whatsoever were forthcoming! Shame, really. We didn't expect a red carpet (!) but we were left with the impression that Prestatyn wasn't really interested in walkers and, to be honest, we weren't very interested in Prestatyn other than the fact that it marked the end of what had been a challenging but wonderfully varied and satisfying walk.)

Steve Dines

Mother's Union
We meet in October on Wednesday, 13th at 2 pm in Flowton vestry and we will be delighted to welcome as our speaker Mrs. Val Jeffreys. Val is the Vice President of the Ipswich Deanery MU. We would love to have some visitors on this occasion - ladies or gentlemen. So do feel free to come and enjoy an interesting talk and a chat over a cup of tea. If transport is a problem, please contact Margaret on 658330

The Bury Cross comes home!

Most of us had never heard of the existence of a 'Bury Cross' until we read the following extract from the Diocesan magazine, the East Anglican.

"For the first time in 800 years, the Bury Cross is returning home. Using the latest technology and computer imaging, the Metropolitan Museum in New York has fashioned a breathtaking replica of the 12th century Walrus Ivory original which will be handed over to the Cathedral later this month. The project has been funded by the Cathedral friends.

The original Cross turned up in a Zurich bank vault, in mysterious circumstances at the end of the Second World War.

It seems likely that the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds played an integral part in the Cross's creation but so much of its subsequent story is an enigma. Was the Cross presented to Richard the Lion Heart by the Abbot to take to the Crusades? Why did it disappear from view? How did it end up in Zurich?"And how did a museum in New York acquire it? A fascinating story and one about which we hope to hear more. The replica of the cross will be handed over to the Cathedral in Bury St. Edmunds in mid September and will be on display there from then on if you would like to see it for yourself.

The birds and butterflies in our gardens & churchyards-

Looking back over the summer

The unusually wet months of July and August have not augured well for our butterflies to breed and numbers and sightings have been disappointing this year. Terry Proctor has seen many fewer than usual of commas, painted ladies, admirals, peacocks and tortoiseshells but has been pleased to have two more unusual sightings in his garden of a pair of common blues and a speckled wood. He has noticed too that a humming bird hawk moth appeared to be particularly attracted to a pot of Busy Lizzie plants!. Well worth remembering when we plant up next spring - this is such an attractive visitor to our gardens and certainly to be encouraged.

Terry Lock is pleased to report that there was a happy outcome to his swallow story. After losing their first brood the parents rebuilt and successfully hatched out 4 eggs. At the time of going to print the young birds have joined the adults and are feeding hard in preparation for taking their leave of us for the winter. Hopefully they will all return next year. In general, birds had a happier summer than butterflies, the weather being much more favourable for their breeding season in the spring and early summer. All the usual visitors have been seen in our gardens with spotted flycatchers , willow warblers and chiff chaffs in evidence. All reports from our villages confirm more than usual sightings of both green and lesser spotted woodpeckers (often joining the tits on nut feeders!). One correspondent has a family of 4 young green woodpeckers feeding regularly on her lawn. There are numerous little owls too to be seen on posts and wires and we have been gratified to hear that there are one or two barn owls about.

Well, that seems to be all we have to report for this year. Our thanks to our two main correspondents - the two Flowton 'Terrys' - Terry Lock on birds, and Terry Proctor on butterflies, to others who have contributed, and above all to our winged and feathered friends who have delighted us with their presence this summer. Folks have expressed their interest in this column and so we hope to open it up again next Spring.


We hope everybody has had a good summer. Visits to Challain have been undertaken by some members of our village during the summer. Several families were fortunate enough to be able to visit the village and host families whilst on holiday. The Challainois have been delighted to see visitors from Somersham when they have called in.

Our English correspondent there, Veronica, has sent us news of the events happening in the village over the summer. She says Challain has several fetes during June/July. The school and church have a combined fete in June before the children break up for the summer holiday. The children have a procession through the village, arriving at the sports ground where they then do a play. Every year has a different theme and their costumes are always very good. There are stalls, a tombola, bar, crepe stalls, etc.

They also have parties. The commune is divided into five zones, North, South, East, West and the Bourg. Each zone has a get together on a different day. She says they are not restricted to going to the "do" in their own zone, and can go to any or all of them.

Also this year is the 150th anniversary of the Chateau and a weekend of festivities was held to celebrate that. They had helicopter rides, a hot air balloon, a piano recital as well as lots of other things.

In September there is the annual village "Ball" which most people go to and in November each year they have the Football Club dinner/dance which is always well supported.

It's good to hear news from Challain and we look forward to them visiting Somersham in the spring next year. If anyone is interested in being a host to French visitors when they come, or in being involved with the activities taking place then, please contact one of the following:

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

Parish Council

Clerk to the Parish Council
Mrs Janet Clarke has taken over as the new Clerk to the Council. She is fast becoming familiar with all the intricacies of the business side of the village and getting to know everybody. We are very pleased to have her with us and welcome her to the post. Should you wish to contact her she is available via her contact details given below.

We were sorry to see Andrew Mayhew go, and thank him for all the excellent work he has done for the Council.

Because of the enormity of the planned project Somersham has joined with other councils to appoint a planning consultant to guide us through the complexities of the planning application. This will help us to take the right action to protect the interests of the village.

Two new benches have been provided for use on the playing field. These were installed in early August and are being used regularly.

Bus Shelter
The Council have been disappointed to learn that the bus shelter has again suffered damage through graffiti and a broken window grille. The bus shelter is a facility for the use of all of us in the village and costs taxpayers money to put it right each time an incident occurs. Please ensure it is kept in good condition for the benefit of the whole community.

Somersham is a lovely place to live. As always the Council would ask that everybody does their best to keep the village pleasant for all by not dropping litter and cleaning up after dogs when taking them for walks.

As the previous clerk was the wizard with the website, we have not been able to keep it up-to-date at present. It is hoped that Andrew will continue to input data into this again in the future. However, for the time being Council minutes will be put on the village notice-board or can be available by prior arrangement from the Clerk or Chairman.

Interested in the working of the Council?
If anybody is interested in finding out more about how the Council works come along to the meetings or contact one of the following:

Somersham Parish Council:
Chairman: Janet Hodge, 1 Hall Lane - Tel: 01473 832296
Vice-Chairman: Penny Pearson, 16 Princes Gardens - Tel: 01473 831436
Councillors: Richard Browne, The Hawthornes, Mill Lane
Terry Fordham, 2 The Springs, Flowton Road
Nicky Heming, Sulby, 17 Springfield Road
Steve Hollands, 5 Church Close
Vic Pryke, 16 Princes Gardens

Clerk to the Council: Janet Clarke, 7 Drury Road, Claydon. Tel: 01473 830398

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 6th October, 7.30pm in the Pavilion.

Parish Council Meetings

Wednesday 6th October 2004 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion
Wednesday 3rd November 2004 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall


My name is Janet Clarke, and I have recently taken over as Clerk to the Council at Somersham. May I take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself to you. I am no stranger to local government having worked for almost 25 years at Ipswich Borough Council, the latter 12 years of which were spent looking after various Mayors.

Somersham is a picturesque traditional English village and I am looking forward to the challenges in assisting the Parish Council to keep it this way. My contact details are at the end of this article and I look forward to hearing from you on any matters relating to the Parish Council.

Congratulations to the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

The Parish Council would like to extend sincere congratulations to the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator Colin Burrows and his Somersham Neighbourhood Watch scheme for the successes in the 2004 Western Area Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership Awards. The Somersham Scheme and its Co-ordinator won the Mid Suffolk N/w of the Year Award 2004 and was also selected as the overall winner of the N/w of the Year Awards 2004, in the Western Area.

These successes reflect the excellent standard of service provided by the Somersham Scheme and the Parish Council would like to express its appreciation and support of the N/w Co-ordinator for his community service.

Hedgerow Survey

A new co-ordinator for the Somersham Hedgerow Survey is being sought following the retirement of the previous co-ordinator and her small team of volunteers. The previous team has undertaken a great deal of work and it would be a pity if things came to a total halt. If anyone can spare a few hours in helping to protect the local habitat and wildlife please contact the Clerk to the Council who will be able to give further information.

Patient and Public Involvement Forums

If you have an interest in local healthcare, now is the chance for you to influence the way in which it is organised and delivered. The Government has set up a network of 570 Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPIs) to look at health provision on a local level. The Forums are made up of volunteers. Each Trust has a PPI attached to it. We come under the Central Suffolk PCT for primary health care and the Central Suffolk PPI monitors the standard of care given by the Trust.

The Central Suffolk PPI is currently looking for more members, so if you can spare a few hours and would like to be part of this stronger voice, please contact Suffolk Acre on Ipswich 242531, or the Clerk to the Council.


Janet Clarke
Clerk to the Council

Address: 7 Drury Road, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0ED
Tel. No. 01473 830398


Somersham Church Notes

St Mary's Church Somersham
Harvest Concert
with Suffolk Police Choir

on Friday 8th October
at 7.30pm

Tickets £6
(including Ploughman's supper)
from Christine's Haircare, Somersham Garage
or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

10% of profit will go to St. Elizabeth's Hospice

Flowton News

Gardens Open and Flower Festival June 2006 will probably be on the first weekend in June, will hopefully know date next month. Thanks to everybody who has shown their support. Several people have said that this amount of notice will give plenty of time to grow good plants - so if you are splitting any this autumn please do keep some for 2006.

Flowton Harvest Supper
will take place on
Friday October 15th
at 7.30pm
at Flowton Hall

by kind invitation of
Graham and Diana Fawcus

Tickets cost £5
and are available from Diana on 01473 658335


The half-yearly Parish Meeting -which is open to all residents and land owners in the village, will take place in Flowton Church Vestry (nice and warm!) on Wednesday October 20th at 7.30pm. Please see notice boards for Agenda.

Flowton Harvest Festival will take place on Sunday October 3rd at 6.30pm

Flowton PCC will meet on Thursday October 7th at 8.00pm in the Vestry.

Somersham & District Gardening Club

During the rainy part of August we visited Shrubland Park Nurseries. An interesting evening looking around their stock beds, hardy plants for sale and, most importantly, the large glasshouse containing a wide range of tender/conservatory plants they have on offer. Many of these can be grown without a conservatory provided theya re kept frost-free over winter. September's meeting wads a talk by P. Bateman on "Water Gardens".

Next meeting: Monday 11th October, 7.30pm, Somersham Village Hall. Return of the popular speaker Chris Parfitt on "Wild Flowers and Gardens." Guests and new members always welcome.

Somersham CSC

Somersham has gone cycle speedway mad! It certainly seems that way as our junior practice sessions held during the summer attracted more and more local youngsters every week. Organiser Peter Mittell has had his hands full ensuring everyone gets a fair go but regardless of age and ability we've no intention of turning anyone away!

With a substantial experience difference between the senior riders and the new wave, we have staged some junior challenge matches against Ipswich. Somersham lost but participation was the key. In the home leg Jack Barnes top scored, while all these other riders made their official debuts in the sport: Harry Thorne, Zak Whitton, Danny Knock, Caitlin Durrant, Jordan Chester-Flatt, Alex Turner, Joe Newton, Shaun Taylor, Michael Garrod, Toni Drury, Nat Pooley & Billie Warner.

Meanwhile the senior team have been making news of their own. Somersham lost to Kesgrave by just 3 points and then followed it up with their first league win since August 2002! Visitors Hawbush were a bit understrength but no one could have predicted the scoreline...a 115-57 massacre. Everyone did their bit but Steve Copping's score of 19 was by far his best of the year.

Onto individual matters and there's more great news for Somersham following the national individual championships. Gary Brown surprised a few including himself after a superb performance at Swindon (a track completely different to Somersham) to qualify for the prestigious British Final. He finished in equal 11th place. The British Under 16 Championship was also staged and Andy Mittell qualified and finished equal 9th. Both riders did Somersham proud - we were the only Suffolk club to get a representation in either final.

October is a busy month for the Stars. There are several away fixtures while at home East London visit on October 10th at 11:00, followed by Eaton exactly 2 weeks later. Why not come and cheer us on?

you can contact us via (01473) 831474, e-mail or take a look at the
new Somersham Cycle Speedway website:


Councillor Viv Hoy who has represented the Parishes for the past ten years has moved her home to Layham near Hadleigh and must therefore relinquish her appointment. The Council wishes to thank her for her service and assistance over those years and passes its best wishes to herself and Ron for their happiness in their new home.

As a result a by election has been called, with a polling date of Thursday October 21st . Anyone seeking nomination can find details on the notice boards.

Offton now has its new notice board splendidly made and installed by Ken Southall of Nettlestead. Lucy Vignoles of Wheelwights Cottage opposite has kindly agreed to put up notices if they are passed to her.

The footpath leading off Tye Lane is impassable. Suffolk County Council have undertaken to clear it twice a year starting in 2005, and will attempt to do so this year using volunteer labour.

The promise given by British Telecom to smarten up the Offton phone box before September has sadly been changed to March 2005.

Pip Sands 01449 721173

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

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

October 3rd - 17th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Harvest Festival 11.15am Battisford
Harvest Festival 3.00pm Barking
Harvest Festival 6.30pm Flowton

October 10th - 18th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Harvest Festival 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Harvest Festival 3.00pm Willisham
Animal Blessing Service 4.30pm Offton

October 17th 19th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + communion by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Ringshall
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

October 24th Last Sunday after Trinity/Bible Sunday

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Somersham

October 31st - Fourth Sunday before Advent

Clocks go back 1 hour this morning

Holy Communion for the 8 parishes with activities for children

10.00am Barking


From: PC Kevin Shields
Community Beat Officer
Tel: 01473 613500

If I can help in any way please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters) if I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 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.
My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself.

Kevin Shields

Cycle Tour in North West Europe

A six-day meandering trip from Cuxhaven in Germany to Hoek of Holland, and at 700K twice the distance a crow is presumed to fly. Cuxhaven, (via ferry from Harwich), is on the south bank of the River Elbe some 100k west of Hamburg and a quaint little fishing port and beach resort. The ferry docks at what is known locally as the "jetty of tears", where thousands of emigrants left Europe for the "Free World" before World War II. The town is quickly left behind. Rolling countryside, arable, livestock and woodland is a joy for the happy cyclist on the bike path south to Bremerhaven, the town centre of which, but not the docks, was destroyed during World War II. Cities and large towns are avoided where possible, and following devious instructions from a Greek waitress a suitable B. and B. was located at Gnarrenburg.

Day 2 saw my new hybrid Lincoln, (my faithful Dawes tourer had been abandoned near Prague last year), cross the River Weser at Achim, up river from Bremen, also heavily bombed during W.W.II. The more famous connection with the Weser of course being the Pied Piper from Hamelin further up river. Northwest Germany is surprisingly quiet and rural. Large conurbations are few and far between, and most villages have a butcher and baker, but not the other one nowadays, as wind powered generators are a common sight.

That evening approaching Vechta, S.W. of Bremen, a small hotel unexpectedly beckoned from the gloomy forest. I appeared to be the only guest, and B. and B. at 25E and an evening meal at under 20E was about average. This included an after breakfast doggy bag, to pack what I wanted for the day.

The next day was cold and damp, the map got soggy and fell apart, the apples were lousy, what might have been a tasty yoghurt burst in a panier and Leerdammer cheese really is full of holes. Later that day getting lost avoiding Lingen, where road signs were more rare than in Kent in 1940, the compass became invaluable.

Day 4 and into Holland. Holland is busy; the most densely populated country in Europe, where cycling is safe, and, as in Germany drivers are polite and courteous to cyclists. Knock over a cyclist and it is your fault, similar to hitting a horse in Newmarket.

I had planned to cross the Ijsselmeer by ferry from Urk. Michelin Map 210 tells us the ferry is seasonal and runs from May to September. For tourists you may suppose? I arrive on a Sunday morning and no ferry. A 60K detour took me over the Markerwaarddijk, a 30K land bridge between the Ijssemeer and the Markermeer. This could be compared with a bridge from Dover to Calais. The LF1 was the next target. This is a signed cycle route along the west coast of Holland, running 140K from Den Helder to Hoek of Holland and then on to Boulogne. This is a splendid track through coastal dunes and woods and little holiday towns, over the North Sea Canal giving sea access to Amsterdam, past Haarlem, Den Hague, on through the acres of greenhouses, and into Hoek, where frustratingly I watched the 4.00 p.m. ferry for Harwich close its doors for departure.

Jonathan Gray, Orchard Drive, Buxhall. June 2004.
(Our intrepid long-distance cycling correspondent)

Somersham Baptist Church

Sunday Morning Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the meeting).
10.00-10.30 Prayer Meeting
10.45-11.15 Bible Study
11.30-12.00 Worship
12.00-12.30 Sermon (Communion 1st Sunday)

Children and Young People (During term time)
Wednesday Club 6.30-7.30pm For Primary School children.
14+ Friday's 8.00-9.30 Year 9 upwards.

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship 2.30pm Friday 8th October.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 18th October.

Contacts: Mark Newcombe (Pastor) 01473 831940
Edwin Mayhew 01473 658100.

Offton Church News

Events Ahead!

Sunday 11 October
Animal Blessing Service

at 4.30 pm
in the church

contact: Peta Whiting 01449 6777
Adult Pottery Group
Thursday 11 and 25 November
at 7 pm

with Peta Whiting in Offton Church
please let Peta know if you wish to take part

Coming Up!

Monday November 29th Meditative Service in Flowton Church.

Advent Workshops - details in next month's Link


01473 657029
Your local Link Volunteer can provide you with useful
contact details and information about
Age Concern Suffolk

Alternative contact: Age Concern Suffolk, 8 Northgate Street
Ipswich IP1 3BZ Tel: 01473 257039 Monday to Friday 9 - 5


The last church notes were written at the beginning of July, when our summer events had still to take place. On the 10th July a small, but select, group of helpers gathered to spring clean Willisham church. Thanks to everyone involved, especially Richard who removed all the cobwebs from the windows and archways.

A full report of our fete on the 17th July appears elsewhere in The Link, but we would like to thank all helpers and supporters who turned what could have been a financial disaster into a great success, raising £906 for church funds. In addition to our faithful band of helpers, several new people came to run stalls this year. We are very grateful to you all and in particular to Rod and Denny Holder, for allowing us the use of Crow Hall.

Whilst on the subject of thanks, a small group of people provide flowers and keep the church clean during the year, for which we are very grateful. It will soon be time to draw up the rota for 2005, and we would welcome new names. If you are able to help, please contact Frances Gilson 658387.

This year's Harvest Festival takes place on Sunday the 10th October, at 3.00pm, and we extend a warm welcome to you all.

Our harvest gifts go to the Salvation Army at Stowmarket, who welcome gifts of non-perishable items such as tins and packets, which can be stored and then donated appropriately when required. Please bring your gifts to the service, although produce and flowers are very welcome on Saturday morning the 9th October, to decorate the church.

Bonfire Evening
Friday the 5th November at Crow Hall from 7.00pm. We hope you all have this date in your diary. See poster for full details.

Church Font
The majority of the money we raise goes on general running expenses and the quota, so the pcc has agreed that the money raised from the coffee morning and village walk held in May, should be used to repair the font. A quotation has been received and accepted, and we hope the work will be put in hand as soon as possible.






FRANCES GILSON 01473 658387
ROSEMARY CAGE 01449 722627
Or on the gate


Proceeds to Willisham Church

Need urgent care or advice?
Phone your local surgery
Day or night that number is right!

You might have heard in the national press that local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) will soon take over the responsibility for ensuring that you can get appropriate medical advice and treatment when your GP surgery is closed.

In Suffolk this will happen from 1st October.

What does this mean for you?

You don't need to worry about this change as you can continue to expect the same high quality service that is provided for you at present, with very few changes:

  • During normal surgery hours on Mon-Fri (except public holidays) you can access a member of your GP practice team at your local surgery in the usual way.
  • If you need urgent advice or treatment outside these hours you should ring your local surgery telephone number, whereupon you will be transferred or directed to the 'on call' service, in the same way that you are now.
  • You will then be able to speak to a GP or nurse, and may be asked to attend a local primary care centre for assessment or treatment, in the same way that you are now.
  • If clinically necessary you will still be able to receive a home visit from a GP.

    However, before seeking advice, have you considered:
    • Speaking to your pharmacist?
    • Calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647?
    • If your problem can wait until your local surgery opens?

      So what is different?
      The most important difference is that under the new national contract, most GPs will not open their surgeries on Saturday mornings, so you will now be directed to the 'on call' emergency service during this time, in the same way that you would be on Sundays at present.

      This is important if you normally collect repeat prescriptions on Saturdays, because you will now need to do this in normal surgery opening hours during the week. If you are unsure about arrangements, please speak to a member of staff at your surgery, who will be happy to help.



Collectors are urgently wanted in Offton, Wixfield Park, Great Bricett and Marshmoor Park.
If anyone is able to give a few hours between 27th October and 10th November, please contact the Poppy Appeal organiser,
John Dickerson, on 01473 658417.

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
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