The Link Magazine

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

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Somersham Church Notes

There are an ever-decreasing number of people on Somersham church’s Flower Rota, which means it comes round more frequently for those who are on it. If you feel able to do the flowers occasionally (they don’t have to be anything magnificent!!) then please get in touch with ChristineJarrold at Christine’s Haircare or 830710.

There will be another opportunity to hear and enjoy local bands at a Folk Evening on Friday October 6th. Our talented local performers will have a different selection of songs and music to entertain you. See ad for more details.

Our Harvest Festival will be on Sunday 7th October at 10am. Any donations, preferably items that have a long “shelf life”, would be gratefully received and will once again be taken afterwards to the Women’s Refuge.

A Trivia Quiz is planned for Friday November 10th, with the usual format. See ad for more details.

The following piano pupils of Mrs Lynne Holton of Somersham have been successful in obtaining the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations.
In the practical examinations – Marsha Dalby gained Grade 1 with Distinction, Amanda Jones passed Grade 1; Jessica Atherton and Maisie Clover both gained a Merit in Grade 2.
In the theory examinations – David Wade gained a Distinction in Grade 5, Amanda Jones, Elishia Butler, Holly Fifield and Alexander Jones all gained a Distinction in their Grade 2, and Anna Marsburg gained a Distinction in Grade 1.

Well done to all and a special congratulations to David Wade who obtained 100% marks in his Grade 5 theory examination.

The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project
comes to Somersham

The Coffee Caravan
will be at

2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

An opportunity to chat to neighbours and friends over a cup of tea/coffee and homemade cakes

And an opportunity to gather a wealth of information about a complete range of issues and resources from many local and national agencies and organisations

***** ALL WELCOME *****

Our visit is free but donations are welcome.
If you would like to know more please telephone Janet Hodge on 01473 832296
Email: telephone: 01379 855338

St Mary’s Church Somersham
Folk Evening

another opportunity to hear
local bands
Pluck & Squeeze Kate & Steve
JCB Scott, Ted & Rohais
(plus guests!)
on Friday 6th October at 7.30pm
in Somersham Church

Tickets £6
(including glass of wine & light refreshments)
available from
Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage
or Pat Woolhouse (831080)
10% of profit will go to St. Elizabeth’s Hospice

St Mary’s Church Somersham
Trivia Quiz

Friday 10th November at 7.30pm.
in Somersham Village Hall

Teams of 6, £2.50 per person
Bring own drinks, glasses and nibbles
(Tea / Coffee provided)

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


Somersham Football Club

As another season dawns I would like to take you back to May and the Annual Presentation Dinner Dance. This was a thoroughly successful evening, congratulations to the organisers and all those (listed below) who gained awards from last season’s endeavours.

First Team
Players Player of the Year - Terry Lawrence
Managers Player of the Year - Adam Williams
Top Scorer - Kieran Cotterell

Reserve Team
Players Player of the Year - Allan Chester (Honestly!)
Managers Player of the Year - Jason Brame
Top Scorer - Dale Poole

Club Awards
Young Player of the Year - John Hughes
Club Top Scorer - Stefan Nielsen
Club Person of the Year - Andy Piper
Personality of the Year - Darren Luck
Outstanding Contribution - Alan Woods

The end of the season saw coach Alan Woods depart from the club due to his relocation through his work. All at the club wish him the very best and offer thanks to him for all of the work he put in last season, on and off the pitch, training and coaching the players.
Alan’s replacement, Rab, has been brought to the club by First Team manager Darren Breeden. Having worked with him for a month in pre-season I can say that Darren has brought another asset to the club, although I haven’t discovered his full name yet!

The Reserves cup final defeat has also proved to be manager Derek Ottaways last game in charge. Rumours that the Chairman put him on ‘Gardening leave’ are wholly unfounded! Seriously, Derek has done a brilliant job for the past two seasons and we all thank him for his time and efforts in what can be a frustrating job. I hope that after a rest from it he will take up the reins again in the future, but in the mean time he is still extremely involved in the club as he continues in the Secretary’s role as he has done for a number of years.

Derek stepping down from management has seen Quinny Warner take full control of the Reserves. Quinny has loads of experience (not all of it bad) and I know he will continue to run the team in the best manner and wish him the best of luck for the coming season.
The rest of the back room staff are unchanged. Some of the players have change with one or two leaving or retiring and a few new faces. Thanks to the outwards and welcome to the inwards.

A special mention to Matty Whitton who decided at the beginning of the year to retire from playing football. Aside from being a brilliant personal friend Matty is also one of the most naturally gifted footballers I have seen at the club. Matty first played for Somershams reserve team when he was thirteen and has played for Somersham football club every season since. When the club restarted the Sunday side in 1989 Matty signed up and reckoned it would be a good idea if I did the same. In all his years of playing he played just one season (Sundays only) for another club but has remained loyal to his village side. He has assisted with the management of both the Sunday team and the Saturday First Team as well as organising social events and marking the pitch. Happily he will be staying on the club committee so that Dill can groom him for the Chairman’s role. I know that all of the players will miss his wit in the dressing room and his talent on the pitch, but I’m sure his social skills will be kept sharp at many a post match social drink!! Thanks for great service to the club mate from all of us.
With the presentation evening a distant memory and still smarting from England’s World Cup exit we assembled for pre-season training at the beginning of July. After the differing fortunes of the Firsts and Reserves last season, the first team will be competing in Division 3 of the SIL and the Reserves in Division 4.

Happily training coincided with the fabulous heatwave we all enjoyed and made our exertions a little easier….not! However, with the new coach on board everybody was able to cope and by the time you read this a full programme of friendlies will have taken place and the league season will have just got underway.

The first league games of the season take place on 2nd September and continue every Saturday from thereon, so feel free to come and have a look. As ever the club welcomes anybody interested in joining the club in any capacity, from player to pitch marker. Don’t be shy, give Somersham a try!

See you on Saturday!!! DON’T FORGET YOUR EMULSION!!!!!
Al Chester

Somersham Youths

On Sunday 20th August Somersham youths accepted an invitation to play in a tournament at Whitton Sports Centre.
The tournament was open to all age groups and under the watchful eye of Steve Cotterell the squad assembled with Rhys Cotterell, Thomas Hiskey, Jack Barnes, Samuel Lucock, Zak Whitton, Charlie Warner and Sam Siddel, all proud of their new kit.
The first game against Whitton A saw some neat passing football from Somersham, who were rewarded when Sam Siddel netted from distance with only seconds remaining – final score 1-0 to Somersham.
The second game was against Whitton B and Somersham kicked off with two fine goals from Jack & Zak, putting the game out of reach before half time.
Next came a classy Kirton side and a 2-0 defeat was a fair result. #Game 4 saw Somersham re-group and was by far their best performance, two blistering strikes either side of half time from Rhys ands a brace late on from Sam sent the growing Somersham faithful into a frenzy and Whitton A were beaten 4-0.Next Whitton B were again the opponents and it soon became clear that this was a different side to the one we had beaten earlier in the day. Somersham played well with Charlie proving to be a real handful down the flanks, and a 1-0 defeat was a harsh score line.
The final game was against Kirton, and Somersham were on the back foot for much of the game, but with some strong defending from Thomas and Samuel pulling off some good saves in goal, a 1-0 defeat was not a bad result.
This was Somersham Youths first competition and to finish one point off the runner up spot was a very good achievement by the lads. With all the games being played in the right spirit the future is bright for Somersham football.
Special thanks to the families, and especially Sam Whitton, for thier support on the day.


Somersham & District Community Association

Have you visited the pavilion recently? If not you will be pleasantly surprised; the Football Club has re-decorated it and it looks very fresh and welcoming. This is an improvement that can benefit the entire community as the Social Club is open to all and the building is admirably suitable for small gatherings; children’s parties for instance. Next summer we may have a barbecue in place; something to look forward to on those long light evenings.

Now that so much of the new play equipment is in place, the Association has to turn its thoughts to maintenance and upkeep. Starting from the ground up, this includes grass cutting, weed and brush control, fencing, footpaths and litter control, apart from the swings and roundabouts and the building. Nearly all of this has to be tackled by volunteers and any costs are borne by the Association. The Football and Speedway Clubs maintain their areas and help generally, and occasionally sponsorship is received from various sources, for which the Association is very grateful indeed. By and large though, this lovely facility costs you nothing at all. If you enjoy the facilities, either personally or through your children, please think a big thank you to the volunteers; better still, say it, even better, offer to help occasionally. Contact Mike Shelmerdine on 01473 831661or

The financial plan for the remainder of the project is well in hand, and will include lighting the path, the arena and the football pitch. This is a chicken and egg problem as some of the funding will only be released when the lighting is finished. Work that one out! Also included, signs pointing out the easiest way for those in disabled scooters to access the field. As the grass is not skid-free, it is best to leave the car park and use the pavement beside the stream and the tarmac path from the bridge near Bridge Cottage. Of course, everyone understands that dogs are barred from the entire playing field area, but more notices to that effect will be displayed. Although it’s been a long time coming, the speed at which the project has gone forward this last year has been amazing, with luck and hard work, the rest of it may progress just as quickly.

Don’t forget, if your club would like to join the Association, please let me have the name and contact of your elected spokesperson. Meetings are held bi-monthly; the next is on 26th October at 7.30 in the Pavilion.

Nicky Heming
01473 831594


Oh no! It’s on my shoes again
What a truly dreadful pong
This is the second time this week
Who’s doing something wrong?

There are pooper scoops and plastic bags
And bins all round the place
Why leave that poohie pile behind
And brand yourself disgrace?

No matter just how cute your dog
Is to your loving mind
Nobody else appreciates
The pile he leaves behind

If you cannot train your dog
To use your garden neat,
Then please take the poo pile home with you
Don’t leave it in the street.

Allowing a dog to foul the pavement is a
punishable offence, it is anti-social, a health
hazard and thoroughly unpleasant. Please
clear up after your dog.

Nicky Heming, Springfield Road, Somersham.

Blowing In The Wind

To regular readers who were disappointed by the non-appearance of an article detailing our exploits last year, I can only apologise. I never got round to writing it!

For the record, a group of us travelled to Dorset and walked along what has become known as the Jurassic Coast (because of the fossils which can be found there). It is, in fact, the final part of the South West Coastal Path which runs from somewhere near Minehead in Somerset, round Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, to terminate at Sandbanks, a ferry ride from Poole. We walked the bit from Beer Head which, apart from having a name which drew our interest, also marks the point at which the underlying geology changes from sandstone to chalk. We were blessed with mostly good weather and the coastal scenery provided something which made the walk different from the others we had undertaken. A truly varied walk, it encompassed woodland, marsh, high chalk cliffs, seaside promenades and, to finish, a walk along the naturist beach at Studland where we felt distinctly over-dressed!

For this year’s expedition, we made a further break with tradition and, instead of following a recognised long distance walk, we made up our own. And where better to do that than the Lake District? We also had decided that maybe the time had come to cut our cloth slightly. (Dorset proved quite expensive and the fact that we may have become a little profligate was brought home to us when, on our return to our B&B one night, our hostess remarked “I didn’t realise you could afford to eat there!” when told where we had been). This year, we decided that most of our accommodation should be in youth hostels.

Regulars Richard Browne, James Crickmore, Steve Woolhouse and myself were joined this time by Peter Jay, a long time friend of James and now a welcome addition to our little band of travellers. And so it was that, halfway through June, we set off in Steve W’s Ford Galaxy for our first youth hostel on the shore of Windermere at Ambleside. Despite having a combined age well in excess of 250, we still found a warm welcome in the youth hostel and were pleased to find that the inter-hostel shuttle bus provided an ideal way of transporting baggage, leaving us only having to carry provisions for the day.

As is often the case in the Lakes, the weather on arrival was lovely but by the time we awoke the next morning views were less extensive and rain threatened. Nevertheless, it did hold off until lunchtime so that for the first part of our walk to Coniston we remained dry. However, round about Tarn Hows, the heavens opened and by the time we reached Coniston Coppermines youth hostel we were well and truly drenched. The hostel at Coppermines is beautifully remote, nestling beneath the Coniston Fells and about 1.5 miles from the town. It’s run by a young chap who does practically everything, including providing a variety of meals (we sampled one the first night as we couldn’t face braving the weather again) and making flapjack, some of which found its way into our packed lunches for the following day.

We had 2 nights at the Coppermines so decided to fill the intervening day with a climb of the Old Man of Coniston. It started well enough but by the time we reached the point at which we had to start the climb proper we were already in mist and that remained the case from then to the top and beyond. By the time we reached the summit ridge we were in thick cloud and it was blowing a gale; exhilarating at first but wearying and, as we were atop some pretty impressive cliffs, a little bit scary. Following a rather drafty lunch-break and the obligatory photos of the ‘old men on the summit of the Old Man’, we descended out of the clouds, via some heavy rain, back to the hostel, by now bathed in glorious evening sunshine. On the way down, we passed a lone fell-runner making more rapid progress up the mountain than we were down. Any inferiority we may have felt was, though, dispelled by James who simply observed “Yes, but he’s got no friends, has he!”

The weather when we left Coniston the next day looked set for more of the same but by the time we reached the summit of Wetherlam, the strong winds had blown the clouds away and we were rewarded with some stunning views over Wrynose Pass, the Langdales and Lake Windermere. A descent into Little Langdale led to Elterwater and our ‘luxury’ night – this was the one night on the trip for which we had been unable to secure YHA accommodation so had to settle for a hotel. It also provided a welcome opportunity (welcome for two of us, at least) to follow England’s progress through the group stages of the World Cup as they took on Sweden.

The bulk of the walk from Elterwater to Patterdale constituted a trip down memory lane for those of us who had done the ‘Coast to Coast’ walk 8 years earlier. Last time, we’d had some difficulty finding the lake at the head of Grisedale Pass (it’s quite large but, to be honest, that day, it would have been easy to mislay your front foot once it had taken a step forward into the mist). This time there was no mist, but the gale driving the rain across the top of the pass was so strong that we decided, once again, to forego the pleasure of a diversion to the top of Helvellyn.

Whilst crossing Grisedale, it was interesting to meet a number of new generation coast-to-coasters, the crowds of walkers being testament to the continuing (and even growing) popularity of the walk. As we neared Patterdale, we met a different kind of walker; an ‘elderly’ refugee from a CHA walking holiday (she said they weren’t going quickly enough for her and so she’d forged on ahead – but then had taken the wrong path somewhere). Peter extended the hand of friendship as only he can and I think she took quite a shine to him. We’re not sure what she said, but he caught us up again as we reached Patterdale and was quick to suggest a visit to the local hostelry. Although we had to remind him that afternoon drinking wasn’t strictly within the rules, we took pity and agreed to bend the rules for once!

With 2 nights in Patterdale, our final day’s walk took us over the Scandale Pass and back to Ambleside where Steve’s car awaited. Wainwright, in ‘Wainwright on the Lakeland Mountain Passes’, describes Scandale Pass as ‘tedious and dull’ in comparison to the parallel Kirkstone Pass but he does concede that, having no ‘motor road’, it is able to offer quietness and solitude. We had looked forward to this aspect, but the ever present winds and threat (and actuality) of rain meant that, as the day wore on, we became more interested in the fact that it represented the shortest route to Ambleside and the car, which, by the time we did arrive, was bathed in sunshine!

Seems to be a bit of a pattern here somewhere!

Steve Dines


Barking Pre-school
(registered Charity 1020882)

Welcome back to everyone at Barking Pre-school. Also we wish all the children who left at the end of last year every success and hope they settle into life at primary school.

The topic for this half term is “People around us”. The children will be meeting the local policeman and later in the term we hope to welcome the village postman and milkman to the school.

The children meet every morning at 9.30 until 12 noon during term time. The Pre-school is run by a committed and enthusiastic team of local ladies, who work hard to organise a wide variety of fun and educational activities including crafts, cooking, music, reading and construction. The group is well equipped with many new toys and books, and has a spacious area in which to play. There is also a secure garden behind the hall, which is used during the summer months.

The continued success of Barking Pre-school relies upon sufficient numbers of children to make it viable. Please tell your friends, neighbours and family about our little group. If you have or know of any pre-school age children who want a place at a friendly local playgroup please ring Veronika Pryke (our playgroup leader) on 01473 658368 or Helen Smith on 01473 833285.

The next fundraising event in aid of Barking Pre-school is a Christmas shopping Extravaganza on 7th November at Barking Village Hall. Ticket prices, to include wine and nibbles on arrival, are £2.50, available from Sally 01473 833056 and Dawn 01473 657059.


Somersham Baptist Church

Harvest Family Service 11.30 a.m. Sunday 1st October.
Come and praise God for his gifts of food. We will give any canned and dry food goods to the Mid Suffolk Homeless reception centre.

The “Y” Course.
In the last 40 years Britain has become less “Christian” but more open to the “spiritual” involving issues beyond our five senses. Does Jesus still have a place in this modern world?
The “Y” Course involves 8 sessions which look at the common questions of life, takes a fresh look at who Jesus is and faces major issues such as suffering and life after death.
Brian Ward, who has been a Christian for many years, will lead this course at Somersham Baptist Church commencing on Sunday 8th October. Each session will begin at 7.00 p.m. with a light meal and comprise of a DVD and open discussion on relevant issues for our time. The evening will end by 9.00p.m. Just turn up on the night or contact Mark or Brian (01473 740565) for more details

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

Other Meetings
Children and Young People (During term time); Wednesday Club 6.30-7.30pm for primary school children, 14+ Friday’s 8.00-9.30pm Year 9 upwards.
Meetings for Ladies;
Women’s Fellowship 2.30pm 13th October Speaker Christine Hart. Contactct Mark if you need transport.
Friends and Neighbours 16th Shoe Box Appeal, Meg Pearson.

All events are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP84 QE, and Transport is always available.
Contacts: Mark Newcombe (Pastor) 01473 831940. Mobile 07930 543583.
Edwin Mayhew 01473 658100

Dear Reader,
During this year I have walked across a rushing river, wide, dark green, by means of a narrow metal girder and associated handrail. That was in South Devon. On a warmer day in Derbyshire I walked beside a chirpy waterway where cyclists, hikers, bands of ramblers and avid birdwatchers seemed to associate quite freely, and one of the happy centres of attention turned out to be the Little Grebe. On a very hot day in Stowmarket I walked beside the River Gipping and that was equally refreshing.

The Bible promises that on the Day of the Lord's Return "living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem"(Zechariah 14 v.8) and in the last book of the Bible, the One who sits on the throne declares: "To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment." Rivers of living water are a picture in the Gospel of how Jesus supplies all that we need.

'Water for life' is a subject we can appreciate this harvest-time, as it was so hard for us to keep our plants going in the early part of this summer. WaterAid is the charity which concerns itself entirely with bringing safe water, sanitation and hygiene education within reach of everyone. I do remember one household where I stayed in India, in Karnataka state, and the most precious item for that family was their well-rope. A lad used to come and collect rope and bucket, to fill a concrete tank in the yard.
The example given by WaterAid is of a thirteen year-old girl in northern Nigeria whose daily duty it is to top up the water container in her home and this means three or four trips a day to the well, but only with other people as it is two hours' journey and there are animals and snakes along the way. Released from this and from collecting firewood, she may yet be able to attend the school which her village is starting to build.
With a well to be built in this community this year, WaterAid will enable them, with us, to give thanks for the gift of water for life. How grateful we are for our water supply!


Link Committee Annual General Meeting

A combined committee and AGM was held on Friday, 8th September at Gunn’s Farm. We were sad to record that Lucy Vignoles had moved from Offton and has therefore resigned from the committee. Lucy had been a valued member of our editorial team and we will miss her

However, in these days of email contact she has promised to continue to contribute to our magazine. Please do keep writing, Lucy and we wish you much happiness in your new home.

Once again we are indebted to all organisations and individuals who have made donations and to our Treasurer for keeping us solvent. A copy of our checked accounts for the year will be posted on each church notice board.

It becomes somewhat tedious to report yet again that the main officers were re-elected to their posts – but they were! One day perhaps you will all have a shock with a block resignation and so hopefully there are some budding journalists and financial wizards and office managers and other dogsbodies out there ready to come out of the woodwork if needed! In all seriousness we are ready always to welcome anyone who has an interest in joining us in any capacity. Contact numbers are on the back cover of the magazine. We are very pleased to welcome Judith Newman on to the editorial team and committee.

News of the Choir!

We were saddened during the summer to hear of the resignation of one our longest serving and dearest members. However, we kept a stiff upper lip and organised a farewell get-together in the garden of the Limeburners. About a dozen of us spent a bitter sweet hour saying our Goodbyes to our friend.

Imagine our delighted amazement when we arrived for practice at Flowton church the very next morning to find our friend already there! He had decided that we were such a lovely group of people he couldn’t bear to leave us afterall !

The very best sort of ‘farewell’ we reckoned and how thrilled we were to see him with us still.

So, if we are such a happy crowd, what is stopping you from joining us?

We are much in need of extra voices and would welcome you most warmly if you would come along. Details of practices are always in the Link magazine – why not give us a try? But be warned, you may not find it so easy to leave!

Mother’s Union

We are pleased to join the MU group at Barham this month for a joint meeting where the speaker will be Jane Drew giving us more information about current social policy as is affects senior citizens. The meeting is at 2.30pm on Wednesday, 4th October and transport will leave Somersham at 1.30 pm

Since our last magazine came out our friend Maisie Race has had a spell in hospital in Boston but we are delighted to report that it was short lived and she was soon back in Hunter’s Lodge.

Somersham Parish Council

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings
Wednesday 4th October – 7.30pm - Playing Field Pavilion
Wednesday 1st November – 7.30pm - Committee Room, Village Hall
Wednesday 6th December - 7.30pm - Playing Field Pavilion

Now that the applications for the SnOasis development have been ‘called in’, it is expected that the Public Inquiry to look at these proposals will begin in February. Somersham has been part of a Parish Group made up of most of the neighbouring parishes. This group has been successful in gaining some concessions from the developer and the Parish Council is now considering making a substantial contribution to the cost of engaging a barrister, who will put the case for the Parish Group and SnOasis Concern at the Public Inquiry. This matter was discussed at some length at the September meeting of the parish council and will be discussed in more depth at the next meeting in October. The councillors aim to represent the wishes of the village and would welcome your views. Any comments or suggestions can be made to any of the councillors or the clerk, or in person at the October meeting, which you are most welcome to attend.

Tour of Gt. Blakenham Recycling Facility
A tour of the above facility has been booked for Somersham residents for Tuesday 5th December 2006 at 1.30pm. Anyone interested in the facility is welcome to book a place but please note that the MRF tour is not suitable for anyone fitted with a pacemaker due to the nature of the electromagnetic machinery and all visitors must wear sensible study footwear, no sandals or high heels please. Visitors also need to be fairly mobile. Hard hats are provided during the tour.
All places must be booked and numbers are very limited, so if you would like to reserve a place(s) for the tour please book early by contacting the Clerk and see for yourself what happens to the materials we all recycle.

Free Electric Blanket Checks
Suffolk County Council is once again running an electric blanket testing campaign. As the period for testing ran for two weeks from 11th September, we are sorry that notification was received too late for the information to be publicised in the magazine beforehand. Hopefully the County Council will run the scheme next year and give us more time to pass the details on.

Affordable Housing
Do you feel affordable housing is needed in Somersham?
In recent years concern has grown over village life, where communities have been threatened because, among other things, local families have been unable to obtain suitable homes. This affects mostly younger people who cannot afford local prices and often there are no suitable homes in the village anyway.

It is possible for a community to create a local housing needs scheme which results in a small housing development solely and permanently for local people. Also, arrangements are made to enable local people to afford the housing. This can be done by shared ownership arrangements or renting.

The council would like to investigate this issue and in order to make a start it is necessary to carry out a survey of all residents in order to find out what the needs of the people of Somersham are. We will need volunteers to help with this survey and if you would like to help in any way please contact the Parish Clerk.

Dog Fouling
Regrettably the parish council is once again receiving reports of dog fouling, particularly on footpath 10, but also on pavements. This is not only a serious health hazard, but is also against the law and owners of the offending dogs face hefty fines. There are dog waste bins placed strategically around the village so please use them and clean up after your dog.

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

Summer Boating

One early June Friday I set out with two friends from Crick Marina near Rugby to take Poppy, our 55 ft narrow-boat, down the Grand Union canal to Little Venice in central London on the first stage of a marathon journey. The trip was to take us down to London docklands, up the river Thames to Lechlade at the head of the navigable river, then back to Oxford.

The first stage to Little Venice in central London of 100 miles and 84 locks was done at a rush in 6 days. Apart from one of the crew nearly sinking the boat in a lock early on (!) we had good trip in lovely weather finding a mooring where we could leave the boat for 2 weeks free of charge. After a celebratory evening in the local pub we came home the next morning by train.

 Two weeks later, with my wife and another couple, we left Little Venice, travelled past London Zoo and on to Limehouse Basin. Our only regret was that we couldn’t persuade our friends to spend the evening in that famous old riverside hostelry, The Grapes at Limehouse, before we set off – what a shame!

Next day the early morning trip, with the tide up the tidal part of the Thames to Teddington lock, was the high point of the whole trip. Once on the River it was a short distance to Tower Bridge where we steered under the centre-section, past HMS Belfast and the Tower of London, under London Bridge passing within 50 yards of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, past Battersea power station. Then we motored onwards past Kew and Richmond. It took all morning to do the 21 miles, but we were in no hurry.
The next part of our journey took us up the Thames to Oxford and on to Lechlade, then back again to Oxford. Because it was very hot, we swam in the river wherever we stopped. This is roughly 90 miles by river, half the distance as the crow flies. The locks are operated by lock-keepers. This is luxury for the likes of we canal boaters. It is also a very beautiful river, wild and deserted in places but with lonely towns and villages along its banks. Windsor, with its marvellous castle, Marlow, Henley, Cookham with the ghost of Stanley Spencer, Abingdon and finally Oxford.

 From there, we travelled up the Oxford canal back to Crick. A total of 55 days, 365 miles and 201 locks later Poppy returned to her mooring carrying her hot and fairly tired owners.

Chris Newman

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

Notes From
Your Community Police Officer- PC .466 Dave Clark

Hello again ,
A new Community Information Hotline has been launched for the public with the aim of encouraging the community to give information to the police about active criminals.

The telephone number is 01284 774029, and has an answer phone facility.

The facility allows the public to leave information either with or without a name and address. Staff will access the answer phone daily and deal with the information left in an appropriate manner.

Also, Mid Suffolk District Council has set up a dedicated reporting hotline with a freephone number 0800 731 0733 for the use of members of the public witnessing:
· Fly-tipping
· Litter thrown from a vehicle
· Waste coming from an un-sheeted commercial vehicle
· Abandonment of vehicles

If you do witness any of the above incidents, please take the registration number of the vehicle involved, note the time of the incident and if possible record a brief description of the vehicle and/or person(s) involved.

Please do not approach person(s) involved carrying out the offence. All reports will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Crimes of interest :
Nettlestead – Theft of a marble and wrought iron garden bench
Willisham – Theft of a tool set from farm yard

If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters I would be more than happy to discuss this with you.
I can be contacted at Stowmarket Police station on 01473 613500 or by email
Pc Sally Parkes will be my deputy – she can also be contacted on the above telephone number or
Please remember that there are occasions when I am on rest days for 4 days so if your call is of an urgent nature please ask to speak to any officer on duty.

Thanks very much PC 466 Dave Clark

As we begin another school year we would like to welcome the new children to Somersham Primary school and we would also like to say how pleased we were with the attendance at the leavers disco on 21st July. Out of a possible 72 children, 66 of them came to the village hall, as well as most of the staff from the school. It was a lovely evening, a bit noisy at times, but they all enjoyed themselves. We were also able to give Miss Weekes a lovely send off as she was getting married in the Summer Holidays and she looked very fetching in a lovely net curtain veil bought especially for the occasion! Our congratulations also go to Leah Chinnery who is an active member of FOSS and a teacher at the school. She recently gave birth to a lovely baby boy – Reuben.

At the time of writing this article, committee members are working hard to finalise the arrangements for the Scarecrow weekend that we hope was a great success. Below, we detail some of the events that we are currently arranging:

On Monday 2nd October we are holding our AGM at 7 p.m. in the school hall. Everyone is welcome to attend and new committee members are always welcomed!
On Wednesday 11th October at 6 p.m. we are having a Bingo evening for children and adults. The prizes may not be the same as those that you would win in Ipswich, but please feel free to come along and join us for a fun evening.
On Wednesday 1st November at 7.30 p.m., we will once again be having a Body Shop party in the school hall. The entrance fee is £1.50 and will include a glass of wine or fruit juice and nibbles. We usually have a demonstration of some sort and the different products are explained. It is a lovely evening and a nice way to do some early Christmas shopping.

We would also like to mention our event on Saturday 11th November from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. where we will be having a photographer from Tempest come along to the school and take photographs of babies, children, individuals or family groups. If you have a special birthday or anniversary coming up, why not take this opportunity to have a photograph done without having to go into Ipswich? Please come along to the school hall between the given times. The photographs are usually delivered within a couple of weeks. We will also have refreshments, Christmas cards and wrapping paper, small “pocket money” gifts that the children can buy for their Mums and Dads, and other Christmas gifts.

Finally, members of the committee would like to try and compile a local recipe book. In order for us to do this, we would be very grateful if you could send us any recipes that are special to your families. They can be sweet, savoury, snacks, biscuits or whatever you like! All that we would need would be: name, ingredients, method, oven temperature and cooking time. You can also put a note with it to say why the recipe is special to your family – i.e. this was Granny’s favourite recipe because……….
These recipes can be given to any committee member, Jenny King (01473 830623) or may be sent into the school.

Body Shop Party

Wednesday 1st November 2006 at 7:30 p.m.
In Somersham Primary School Hall

Entrance £1.50 to include Wine/Juice/Nibbles

Come along and do some stress free Christmas Shopping!

Christmas Photographs
& Christmas Gifts

Saturday 11th November 2006
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
at Somersham Primary School

The Friends of Somersham School have arranged for a professional photographer to visit the school to take photographs of babies, family groups, friends or individuals. Please come along between the stated times.
Photographs will be delivered within 2 –3 weeks and could make special Christmas presents.
There will also be Christmas gifts and cards that can be purchased – some ideal presents for children to buy with their pocket money for Mum & Dad!


Please contact Jenny King on 01473 830623 for further information.


The annual round up of our main fund-raising events in the summer of 2006

Offton was the first of our villages to hold their summer event – a Flower Festival and Fete on the weekend of 10th/11th June and the weather was glorious.

The flower displays were based on book titles. See if you can recognise them. With great expectations, a jungle book and some chocolate we went through the poetry of the first world war to a secret garden.  Rosie and Jim were there enjoying Casino Royale with the shellseekers and snow white. After reading the bible, we went round the world in eighty days calling on a treasure island, where there was a severe wind in the willows that surrounded the ring of bright water in the centre of which stood a goblet of fire.  The seven pillars of wisdom took a bit of time, but with the help of some cider with Rosie, we succeeded in counting my chickens as we listened to the song of chaffinches which seemed a good way to forget the world cup.  After singing a christmas carol or two, we listened to a winters tale, before saying good bye to Peter rabbit, the flopsy bunnies and that naughty squirrel nutkin.

With sunshine, a brass band, teas, bunting, games and home made teas, who could wish for more, but there was more: plants, cakes, crafts, mountains of bric a brac and books, hot dogs, ice creams, tombola, raffle and memories of old Offton. Until we meet again and try and improve on a record amount of £1,600. THANKS TO EVERYONE
Jan Dickson

Then came Flowton’s Flower Festival and Gardens Open on the weekend of 16th/17th/18th June – and the weather was wonderful
With well over 18 months to prepare there were no excuses for our gardens not to be ready. The added bonus of sunny weather meant we all enjoyed the perfect weekend. Many gardens were open and included cake stalls, ice creams, squash stalls, jams and teas and a book stall.
The weekend began on Friday evening with an excellent concert by Serendipity followed by cheese and wine in the churchyard (reported last month) In a heavenly scented flowered filled church the handmade doll’s houses and room boxes were much admired and the children really liked being able to play with one of them. There were also quilts, photographs and scrapbooks of bygone years providing a great interest to villagers and locals alike. Cream teas and croquet were available at Flowton Hall.

Not only did we raise just over £3,500 but it was another great community effort. Special thanks must go to Betty and Marion for planning the beautiful flowers, Judy who did a sterling job organising lunches and cream teas over the weekend and Mary for her driving energy in motivating us .In case you missed this event, the next one will be in four years ……so get gardening!
Rebecca Downie

Next came the turn of Somersham whose Fete was held on ChurchFarm meadow on the afternoon of Saturday, 8th July.
After the long spell of super weather we wondered if it would last for all the events, but it did, with a wonderful afternoon for Somersham church’s summer fete. We are indebted to Sally and John Caston for the use of their meadow and sorting out electricity and water supplies, as well as other members of the Caston family for all their help. A very big thank you to the volunteers offering to help on the day, and setting up beforehand, which was very much appreciated, and thank you to everyone who came to spend their money! Once again there was a wide variety of games and activities to test skill, patience and dexterity. There was painting the doors, the slowest bike ride, golfing, milking the cow as well as the more traditional ones like bowling for the pig and welly throwing. There was a cake stall filled with so many delicious things – thank you to all the cooks! – and the lunches proved so popular we sold out. From the comments we’ve heard everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. A special thank you to all the youngsters who came, with or without family, to participate in the activities – hope you enjoyed your pineapples and melons! At the end of the afternoon church funds were boosted by £770. THANK YOU
Pat Woolhouse

Last, but not least, came Willisham’s Fete – and still the weather held!

It seemed unlikely that the glorious weather enjoyed by Somersham, Flowton and Offton for their fetes could possibly hold for Willisham. Against all expectations it did, and the 15th July proved to be as sunny as the fetes portrayed in Midsomer Murders.

Once again the setting was Crow Hall, for which we thank Rod Holder. All the favourite attractions were there, including the fishing competition and tractor rides, plus plants, cards, tombola and raffle. In addition we had some new competitions to keep everyone occupied. Those on the refreshment stalls worked very hard all the afternoon and we are grateful to The Limeburners for providing a bar. Whilst enjoying these refreshments it was possible to look at Leita’s display of photographs or listen to the music of Stacks of Sax.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the afternoon, raising over £900 for church funds
Frances Gilson

Once again we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support we have received in all four villages and the warmth and strengthening of ties of friendship amongst all who have worked together to raise £6,770 for our churches and chosen charities. Congratulations to all for a wonderful summer full of happy memories.


Church Fete
You will find full details in the fete round-up elsewhere in the Link. However, we would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s fete a success, raising over £900 for church funds. Special thanks to Rod Holder for once again providing the venue.

The winner of this year’s quiz was Pat Woolhouse. Thanks to Jessica, Yvonne and John for compiling the questions. If you would like a copy of the answers, please ‘phone 01473 658063.

Sponsored Cycle Ride
Thanks to everyone who manned the church on the 9th September.

Harvest Festival/Gift Weekend – 7th/8th October
We hope to see you all at our harvest Festival Service at 3.00pm on Sunday the 8th October. Once again our harvest gifts will be taken to Stowmarket Salvation Army. (Non-perishable items are greatly appreciated)

Please look out for the letter giving details of the gift weekend, which will arrive soon.

Family Bonfire and Fireworks - 3rd November
Please see separate poster for full details.





2 adults + 2 children
From Frances Gilson 01473 658387
Rosemary Cage 01449 722627
Or on the gate


Proceeds to Willisham Church


Our Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be at 4.30pm on Sunday October 1st, to be followed by Harvest Tea.

All sorts of “harvest” are welcome to decorate the church, and from these -
preserves will be taken to the elderly with Meals on Wheels,
tinned and dried goods will be given to Ipswich Women’s Refuge,
used or new tools (this includes sewing tools) will be taken to Tools with a Mission,
fresh produce will go to the Ipswich Homeless Families Unit.

The Harvest Supper will be, by kind invitation of Diana and Graham Fawcus, on Friday October 13th at 7.30pm at Flowton Hall. Tickets priced £5.00 are on sale now from Diana (658335) Margaret (658330) and Mary (658522)

The next workshop for children and accompanying adults will be on Saturday November 11th in Flowton Church between 10.00am and 12 noon. It will be a card and tree-decoration making workshop –to include pop-ups, collage, glue and sparkles! Small charge to cover cost of materials.

The half-yearly Parish Meeting will be on Wednesday November 15th at 7.30pm in the Church Vestry.

Welcome to Sarah & Peter, who have moved into Grove Cottage, Flowton.

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

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

Please note that the services are much reduced during August.
We hope that you all have refreshing and revitalising holidays.

October 1st 16th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Harvest Festival - Rev. I McFie 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Harvest Thanksgiving followed by Harvest Tea (at 5.15pm) 4.30pm Flowton

October 8th 17th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion -Rev.P.Mortimer 8.00am Flowton
Harvest Festival 10.00 am Somersham
Holy Communion by ext. 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion –Rev. J.Druce 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Harvest Festival (& Gift Day) 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

October 15th 18th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion –Rev. P. Mortimer 8.00am Somersham
Family Service +Communion by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion –Rev.J.Druce 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.00 pm Flowton

October 22nd 19th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion -Canon A. Willett 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion - Canon A. Willett 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Evening Prayer -Mrs. C.Edgar 6.30pm Somersham

October 29th Last Sunday after Trinity –Bible Sunday

Family Communion + Children’s activities + coffee

10.00am Flowton
Service for the bereaved 3.00pm Barking

Probable services for November 5th -4th Sunday before Advent

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton


Alan Munson, Piano tutor at Flowton would like to congratulate the following pupils on their achievements in the ABRSM Summer Music Exams:

Alice Downie Grade 1 Theory passed with Distinction
Megan Dade Grade 1 Theory passed with Merit
William Taylor Grade 2 Theory passed with Merit and Grade 1 Practical passed with Distinction
and Hannah Willis-Betts who also passed Grade 1 Theory.

A limited number of places are available for anyone interested in learning the piano for the graded exams or just playing for pleasure.
Tel: 658425

Colin Robinson

Anne, Jeanette and David would like to thank family, friends and neighbours for their cards, flowers and messages of sympathy on the death of Colin. Also for donations to St. Elizabeth‘s Hospice. A special thanks to Pat and David for all their help, also Mary Carter for the lovely service.

Offton Church News

Farewell and thank you to Lucy Vignoles
Lucy left Offton on August 31st to move to her new home in Colchester. We shall miss her greatly- she was a willing helper and a tower of strength to all of us needing support. We wish her every happiness and hope that we shall see her back in Offton on some future occasions.
Could all future items for the Link be sent direct to Mary Carter at Otterditch, Flowton, IP8 4LG

On October 28th there is a Quiz in Offton & Willisham Village Hall
Tables of 4 or 6-- but do not let this put you off coming without a full team --there is always some table needing an extra person. See full page advertisement or ask Ian on 01473 658 637

There is a full report on the Fete and Flower Festival elsewhere in the Link

The first MMM Concert of the new season is on Sunday 3rd December at 4pm. Please see more details elsewhere.

Thank you

We would like to say a huge “thankyou” to the many residents in the Offton area who were so supportive on the night of 30th August.
It's wonderful to be living in such a caring community.
With our grateful thanks,
Hilary, Robin and James.

Saturday 28th October



(tables of four or six)
Offton & Willisham
Village Hall

Tickets £3.00
from Ian Dickson (tel. 658637)

Coffee, tea & biscuits provided
Bring your own drinks and nibbles!

In aid of Offton Church Fabric Fund

Offton & Willisham Village Hall Management Committee

are holding a


The Village Hall


Saturday 4th November 2-4pm

Any contributions of Bric a Brac and books would be appreciated

Please contact Janet on 01473 658547
Or any committee member


Oct 1 Angela Osborn
8, 15 Lois Warren + all help for Harvest
22, 29 Pat Woolhouse
Nov 5, 12 Jane Picton
Cleaning: Team A

Oct 1, 8 Mrs Grimwood
15, 22 Mrs Ward
29, Nov 5 Mrs Carter
Cleaning: Mr & Mrs A. Munson

Oct 1, 8 Mrs Elaine Martin
15, 22 Mrs Gay Tollemache
29, Nov 5 Mrs Jan Dickson
Cleaning: Bellringers


Oct 1,8 Mrs Gilson + all help for Harvest
15, 22 Mrs Southall
29, Nov 5 Mrs Hardman

From the Parish Registers : -

Holly Rose May Bowers and Millie Marie Bowers were baptised at St Mary’s Offton on 30 July 2006

The funeral of Eric James Wheal, aged 88 years, took place at Ipswich Crematorium on 24th July. Eric will be sadly missed by Eileen, daughters Jane and Claire and family, as well as their friends and neighbours in Willisham.
The funeral of Margaret Lucy Chapman, aged 83 years, took place at St. Mary’s Willisham on 29th August. Our sympathies go to her son Paul, and as a village Willisham mourns the last of the Prentice family who farmed at Strawberry Hall.

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