The Link Magazine
Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk
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Offton & Willisham PC
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
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.
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.
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.)
birds and butterflies in our gardens & churchyards-
Looking back over
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.
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;
We were sorry to see Andrew Mayhew go, and thank him for all the excellent work he has done for the Council.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Address: 7 Drury Road,
Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0ED
Somersham Church Notes
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 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!
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?
OFFTON AND WILLISHAM PARISH COUNCIL
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
SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes
If you think there may be a mistake in the rota please contact your Churchwarden.
October 10th - 18th Sunday after Trinity
17th 19th Sunday after Trinity
24th Last Sunday after Trinity/Bible Sunday
October 31st - Fourth Sunday before Advent
go back 1 hour this morning
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
Jonathan Gray, Orchard
Drive, Buxhall. June 2004.
Somersham Baptist Church
Sunday Morning Programme
(You are welcome to join us for all or part of the meeting).
Children and Young
People (During term time)
Contacts: Mark Newcombe
(Pastor) 01473 831940 email@example.com
Offton Church News
Monday November 29th Meditative Service in Flowton Church.
Advent Workshops - details in next month's Link
WILLISHAM CHURCH NOTES
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.
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.
POPPY APPEAL COLLECTORS
Collectors are urgently
wanted in Offton, Wixfield Park, Great Bricett and Marshmoor Park.
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