The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC

Dear Reader,
Over the past five and a half years I have very much appreciated being part of our eight parishes and of our church.
I do hope you take part in other people's services of worship when you are visiting elsewhere or on holiday : the church is one, even if they sing different songs and do things differently. So our church in the eight parishes and across Suffolk is one holy church, the church of God. It is not a good idea to let each village define each church's character as though the distinctive building with its tower or steeple could encapsulate everything the church stands for : it doesn't. The reason for the Christian church is Christ. Living today by his Holy Spirit, he spans so much more than bricks and mortar. He lives in us, His people, and to each of us He has entrusted the work of ministry. Christ's ministry is the ministry of the whole people of God :
to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; to knit God's holy people together for the work of service to build up the body of Christ......... . Ephesians 4, verses 11 & 12
This 'work of service' is called ministry which all the people of God are equipped to do. Among them some may be youth and community workers, some may do secretarial and administrative work, some may be stewards, welcomers, good at hospitality, and some may be pastors and teachers. I was a teacher and in December 1986 came a call to tell people who God is : when I explored what this would mean, it was identified as a call to ordained ministry. The gift and the call are to help enquirers : my best moments here have been when I've been out and about doing just this.....and the more challenging the questions, the more I've enjoyed them. As a minister I would not refer to the work as 'my' ministry - the ministry entrusted to us is Christ's ministry and His is the ministry of the whole people of God. It has been a privilege to share in fellowship with you along the way. Linden

Somersham Church Notes

Please check times of services in Somersham church in the Link magazine or with a churchwarden, as there may be changes to the regular pattern during the interregnum.

The Parish Church will be joining the Baptist Church on Sunday March 2nd for a united service there at 11.30.

There will be an evening of entertainment by “Born in the Barn” in the village hall on Friday 4th April at 7.30.Tickets are £1 with refreshments provided.

The Christmas Bazaar held on Saturday 1st December raised £445. Many thanks to everyone who helped with the event, contributed to the raffle and stalls and of course to those who came to support it.

The concert of songs from Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on Sunday 9th December performed by some choir members of All Hallows Church in Ipswich, made £400. We are very grateful to the choir for giving up their time for a really enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment.

We chose Air Ambulance as the charity to benefit from 10% of all our fundraising efforts during 2007 and are pleased that £298 has been sent to them.

Christmas Quiz Sheets have been on sale for the last couple of months. As copy date is before the closing date the answers will be in next month’s Link, but many thanks to all who have bought one and especially to those who have been selling them.

Gifts brought to the Toy Service were taken to the Women’s Refuge. Where they were very much appreciated by the children and their Mums. Thank you for all the generous donations.

The Golden Link members wish to thank the many people who gave draw prizes, also for the support on the day of our Christmas Fayre. We raised nearly £300, the only expenses being the hire of the hall.

We meet fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons, and would welcome new members. We do very little other than chat and have a laugh over a cup of tea. We would welcome talks or demonstrations if you would feel inclined.

Again many thanks.

Music exams success

The following piano pupils of Lynne Holton, Somersham have been successful in obtaining passes in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Examinations:

In the practical exams:
Jack Cripps and Megan Cherry both passed Grade 1 with Distinction; Belynda Peters and Bethany Clarke Grade 1 with Merit; Hugo Douglas Grade 2 Merit; Henry Moore Grade 2 Pass; Danielle Chester Grade 3 Merit; Alice Wilden Grade 4 Merit and Emma Smith Grade 4 Pass.

In the theory exams:
Megan Cherry, Hugo Douglas, Anna Haughton and Belynda Peters all passed Grade 1 with Distinction; Anna Marsburg Grade 2 Distinction; Jack Cripps and Marsha Dalby Grade 2 Merit; Lauren Hunnibell Grade 2 Pass and Alexander Jones Grade 3 Merit.

Special congratulations to Megan Cherry who passed with 100% marks. Well done to all pupils and good luck for the exams in 2008.

Somersham & District Community Association
Although the grey days of winter are upon us it’s great to see the new grass on the Sports Pitch is a good fresh green. The great pile of stones left by the final treatment shows just how much work had to be done by the “Stone Pickers Federation of Somersham” in order to get the ground in the right condition. The preparation of the pitch, like the entire project, owes so much to the volunteers, without them the costs would be astronomically high and the playing fields still a distant dream. Despite all the complications of fund raising, grants, payments, etc. the budget is running practically to cost; that in itself is a great achievement. Outstanding projects are painting the containers to blend in with the surroundings, a gated pedestrian entrance from the car park, a notice warning of the dangers of climbing on the container roof, and larger dog fouling signs. These last two an added expense that you would think was quite unnecessary. It is hoped that a local company can be persuaded to supply the paint for the containers.

The original project is almost complete and future efforts will all be put into raising enough money to pay for the maintenance of the fields and equipment. The list is growing already and includes guttering, painting the soffit boards, replacement of light bulbs, repair of one of the new arena lights bent by some very tall vandals, and some brickwork repair. One of the most important costs is grass cutting. This is not the simple job it sounds. The grass grows to the weather and timing the cuts to ensure the grounds are kept in the best condition for all users is a tricky business. Football and the associated Social Club raise the most revenue for the fields and in order to be able to play at a certain level the pitch needs to be in good condition, to get this to coincide with keeping the field edges and play area neat and fit in with the Council rota takes a fair bit of working out. In order to keep the costs to a minimum cuts are cancelled when growth is slow. The Association is very grateful indeed that the Parish Council has offered to fund the grounds maintenance for a further year and will do everything possible to keep the costs down.

Don’t forget that the Pavilion can be hired for meetings and parties for smaller groups. It is a pleasant place and not too large. It looks especially nice since the magnificent cleaning operation carried out by a supporter of the Junior Football team; the place was left gleaming like a new pin from top to bottom. That’s the sort of volunteer that all clubs and associations are looking for; they are like gold dust.
The S&DCA wishes to thank all those who have given their time and expertise over the past year. The playing fields are an asset to the Village, without YOU they would not exist. Thank you all very much indeed.

Nicky Heming, Secretary.




Visit to Challain-la-Potherie

We are planning to visit our link village in the Loire Valley
during the weekend of the first spring Bank Holiday

2 – 5th May 2008
Total cost for the weekend is expected to be £80 per person

If you would like to come with us on this weekend visit
Coach travel from Somersham – stay with host families.

Please contact one of the following:
Gill Fordham: tel: 831529;
David Haughton at Somersham Garage: tel: 831511;
Janet Hodge: tel: 832296 Pat Woolhouse: tel: 831080


I was having my hair done recently at TopShop at Chantry and saw this delightful poem on their wall. I thought it would be nice to share it with you so they kindly copied it for me.

Smiling is infectious
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
And someone sae me grin,
When he smiled, I realised,
I’d passed it on to him.

I though about the smile
And realised its worth,
A single smile like mine
Could pass around the earth.
So if you feel a smile begin
Don’t leave it undetected,
Let’s start an epidemic quick
And get the world infected.

From Sylvia Perry, Offton


October 7th saw the final round of the South-East Grand Prix series staged at Kesgrave and it saw the following results for Somersham riders: Under 8:Joe Hodge 2nd in “B” final; Under 10:Harry Reece 2nd in “C” final; Under 13:James Day 2nd in “A” final; Under 16: Andy Turnbull won the “B” final; Under 19:Dan Croft 3rd in “A” final

Overall positions were as follows for Somersham riders: Under 8:Joe Hodge 7th;Under 10:Harry Reece 13th;Under 13:James Day 3rd;Under 16:Andy Turnbull 3rd;Under 19:Dan Croft 2nd;Senior: Gary Brown 1st,Barry Copping 9th;Veterans: Peter Mittell 5th
On October 13th the South-East Division 1 & Division 2/Youth Riders Championships took place at Whitton Sports Centre, Ipswich. Although Somersham are not in South-East Division 2 our Kesgrave loanees Dan and Andy rode in this event, Andy getting a last minute call-up which consequently meant he had to don his Somersham shirt for this one where he finished 8th with 13 points,1 place and 1 point behind Dan.

For the Division 1 event Dan swapped his Kesgrave shirt for a Somersham one where he and Andy joined Barry Copping. Barry was top Somersham rider with 14 points in 6th place, Dan scored 10 points to finish 12th and Andy scored 7 to end up tied for 14th.The way the draw turned out meant that all 3 riders met in heat 10, Dan winning the race from Barry and Andy. The event was won by a former Somersham rider, Adam Peck.

The following day saw our league season finish where it started - at Hethersett, this time in a Norfolk & Suffolk League match. But there was to be no repeat of our earlier win as we crashed to a big 111-57 defeat. The boggy track was difficult to master and the home side seemed to cope with it better. The Stars were not short of effort but it wasn't their day. Gary Brown was top scorer this time with 17 points with Dan scoring 12.

The outdoor season finished 1 week later with the Club Championship. It’s the traditional end of season meeting, a fun event and an opportunity for a few friends and family to have a go, but also a prestigious one as team mates have the opportunity to stake their claim as the club's best rider. A few non-starters threatened to spoil the end of season party, but with lovely weather and a friendly atmosphere it meant that Somersham finished their season with another successful Club Championship. Again sponsored by GB Contracts(owned by Gary’s cousin, Graham Brown who was unable to attend the event on this occasion) and employing the now traditional handicap system(which has been used since 2001 to ensure everybody has a chance to win),a fair, unpredictable, somewhat complex, but overly enjoyable meeting ensued. The racing proved competitive as the usual defensive tactics of the experienced men had to be swapped for sheer speed as they attempted to catch the man in front. As the meeting developed Steve Copping emerged as the man to beat having won his 1st 4 races but he suffered his first defeat to Gary Brown in a photo finish heat 12. With Andy Turnbull winning the next race, the pressure was on Steve to win his last one to take the title. However, brotherly love went out the window as Barry passed Steve in another hectic race. This set up a tense run-off for the Championship and also meant that whatever happened, Steve would record his best ever finish in this competition, having finished 3rd in 1995 when the event was staged at Trimley. In the run-off Andy caught Steve after a couple of laps, but in a replica of the heats, he could find no way past. Steve made up for his poor showing in last year’s event by winning the run-off and taking the title - his first Senior Club Championship win at the 20th attempt to go with his junior title from 1991.Andy gained some consolation by winning the special Junior race after passing the impressive Hodge brothers Joe & Daniel. Every rider had a good race at some stage, but perhaps the biggest hero was Peter Mittell. Determined not be ruled out through injury, Peter took a pedal off his bike and rode one legged to avoid strain on his bad knee! We will forgive his poor racing line on this occasion!

The weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th saw an International Race Weekend take place in the USA at Edenton Cycle Speedway in North Carolina. Barry provided the Somersham interest in this. A Pairs competition took place on the Saturday which saw Barry and his American partner Cathy Basmight finish 3rd out of 6 pairs. The following day saw an International Individual Competition take place and Barry finished 2nd, dropping just 1 point to the winner, Poole rider Kevin Lowman. A team match followed, using the same format as used for our league matches. Barry was in the “Phelps Logging” sponsored team where he scored 17 points but his team lost out to the “Smith Heating & Air” sponsored team by 69-84. This was followed by some American style racing with races ranging from 10 laps to 25, including a mandatory 5 minute rest period around half distance. Barry entered the Senior Men’s race sponsored by American caterers Leon Nixon’s and emerged victorious.

The British Indoor Championships at Salford on 1st and 2nd December saw Somers ham “interest” on the Saturday with one of our Kesgrave loanees James Day competing in the Under 13’s and finishing 4th with 15 points. In the Under 16 event another of our other Keagrave loanees Andy Turnbull had to face a pre-qualifying round in order to make the final but he failed to do so. The Copping brothers were in action on the Sunday in the Senior event, Barry riding in the 1st semi-final where he scored 9 points. Older brother Steve then took to the track in a national event for the 1st time since 2005 but could only score 6 points. That’s it for now and for the 2008 season.Steve Copping, Assistant Secretary (
Club Secretary: Peter Mittell(01473)831474

Barking Pre-school (Registered Charity 1020882)

Panto season is not yet over as the children having been having lots of fun discussing and acting out different fairy stories. We appear to have quite a few budding actors in our midst – perhaps even some future Oscar nominees! We have some new starters this term and hopefully they are settling in well and enjoying all the different pre-school activities.
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 qualified Early Years Practioners, who work hard to organise a wide variety of fun and educational activities including crafts, cooking, music, story telling and construction. The group is well equipped, has a spacious area within which to play and there is also a secure garden, behind the hall, which is used when the weather allows.
We currently have some spaces in our 2½ to 3 age range and a number of funded spaces for 3 and 4 year olds. Children are able to stay with us until they are ready to join mainstream education in the reception year and we are happy to work with any school although the majority of children go to either Ringshall or Somersham Primary School.
The continued success of Barking Pre-school relies upon sufficient numbers of children to make it viable. Please come along for a visit and chat if you would like to your child to attend either now or in the future. Contact either Veronika Pryke (our pre-school leader) on 01473 658368 or Helen Smith on 01473 833285, to arrange a visit.
Our next fundraising evening will be our annual race night to be held some time in February (date not finalised before publication). This is a really fun event and includes a licensed bar and a sausage and chip supper. There is also the chance to back a winner so if you fancy a flutter please contact Helen (01473 833285) or Sally (01473 833056) for more information.

Flowton Church News

Many thanks to all who have supplied plants etc for the Church Stall during 2007. Altogether £154.35 has been raised. Our thanks also to Maureen and John for caring for the stall and the plants.

While saying Thank you we would also like to take this opportunity to thank all who clean the church month by month, and another group who arrange the flowers weekly, and yet another group who meet through the growing season to keep the grass cut and graves tidy ( and who fit in extra trims for weddings). Thank you all – your efforts and talents are appreciated not only by the worshippers but also by our many visitors

Rev. Linden Fletcher
At our ‘full house’ Carol service on Christmas Eve we were able to give the Rev. Linden Fletcher a warm and prolonged round of applause to wish her God’s richest blessing and fulfilment in her new sphere of work in the hills and amongst the sheep farmers of North Wales. On a personal level, we were happy to know that she will be on the same side of the country now as her family - and in excellent dog walking country! We wish Linden and Sapphy a safe and trouble free move to their new home.

During the interregnum (and we have no idea how long that will be) we hope to maintain the same pattern of services in Flowton church. Any changes would be notified in the Link.

Bangladesh Appeal
At Family Worship in November we were in the midst of news of the appalling suffering caused by the tornado in Bangladesh. We talked of the crisis in that country and decided that, as well as praying, we could do something practical to help. We had a sheet of paper for donations and emphasised that if children gave it should be from their own pocket money. After the service we were able to phone in a remarkable £116 to the appeal. Well done Family Worship, and with a special acknowledgement to the children who queued up to add their names to the list.

Church Cleaners The PCC wish to express their gratitude to the wonderful team of cleaners who maintain such a high standard in our church. In a building as old as St. Mary’s, Flowton this is not such an easy task but you do a great job. As no-one has contacted me I hope I am safe in thinking we can operate the rota again in the same format. Thank you all. (Margaret 658330)

Flowton Village Coffee We decided that we would not open the vestry for coffee in January and February, but will look forward to meeting up with each other again on the first Wednesday in March when there may be a touch of Spring in the air. As usual all are most warmly welcome at any time between 10.00 and 11.30ish am .

– After another wonderful carol service on Christmas Eve we should not forget to thank Nick Carter for supplying and installing the candles inside and flares outside in the churchyard. Excellent job once again Nick, and thanks from us all.


Whilst - belatedly - welcoming all readers into 2008; the publishing dates for the Link mean that we have outstanding matters to tidy up by way of match reports for the latter end of last year.
In November saw our first in house competition … the Poppy Appeal trophy … in annual remembrance of the brother of one of our club members. Although it was an unusually low turnout, a number of good tussles ensued and at the end it was left to Keith Deaves and John Prentice to contend the final game; with Keith showing very good form to take the trophy.

Looking to carry on our previous good form; the away visit to Bentley soon dashed any hopes of a match winning position. Playing in their new Village Hall saw a good start and although securing an early draw in one game, we were gradually pegged back in the other games and the home side ran out worthy winners on the night.
Trying to pick ourselves up from the setback of the previous week, our next match - again away - at Stratford St. Mary proved to be another uneasy encounter. There was close bowling in all games and whilst giving the home side a run for their money it was shots in the end that decided the result and a win for Stratford St. Mary

Continuing with mixed fortunes so far in the Winter league we next welcomed Harkstead for the last game in November. Always good friendly opponents and usually closely contested this match proved to be no exception. The first half provided one good win for each club, with Somersham - in the second half games - managing a win and a draw to just scrape in for a successful result.

Next at home again: three very close games out of the four in our match with Shotley saw us obtain the result by a mere 6 shots. Two teams each held their own with a draw; one lost by the narrowest of margins - a single shot; whilst the fourth team swayed the overall result with a decisive win by 7 shots.

Early in December saw the traditional pre- festive ‘in club’ competition being played … the Christmas Pairs. With all games closely contested and enjoyed in friendly fashion, it was Club captain Bell Deaves and husband Keith who lifted the trophy beating John Prentice and Bill King in the final.
Also fitted in between matches in early December the Club visited the Barham Sorrel Horse for the traditional ‘sit-down’ Christmas dinner, and the meal of starters, turkey and Christmas pudding was tucked into by all … including a final plate of mince pies.

Somersham’s last match of the year was against very close friends and rivals - Elmsett.
All four Somersham teams on the night were in top form and took full advantage of the home mats whilst the visitors struggled. At the end of the evening an excellent win with Somersham achieving the best result so far this season.

Finally: the last bowling night of 2007 was “Party Night” and which proved to be a very relaxed evening of light hearted bowling organized by Keith and Bell. Three mats were set up as obstacles courses with varying degrees of difficulty – some would say impossibility – so the results were very much down to lady luck. Festive nibbles and drinks rounded off a most enjoyable evening and concluded a very satisfactory mid league interval.
Winter League - November/ December Results : -

Bentley 42 - 32 9 – 1 Lost Away
Stratford St. Mary 42 - 35 8 - 2 Lost Away
Harkstead 38 - 49 3 – 7 Win Home
Shotley 36 - 42 4 – 6 Win Home
Elmsett 27 – 53 0 – 10 Win Home


With the Christmas festivities now but a memory, and the countryside deep into ‘winter gloom’, we all have to look forward to Easter, and the grand awakening of new life and growth. We also have good thing to look back on.

Recent Events
Unfortunately, there was a very poor turn-out for the children’s event on 15 December to set-up the Christmas crib and to be shown how to make Christmas stained glass. Nevertheless, those that did attend were grateful for all the effort that went in to its organisation.

The Christmas services in Offton Church were well supported as always, and it was particularly good to see so many in church on Christmas morning for the Communion and Carols service. These churchgoers also enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies after the service as a prelude to their turkeys and geese that were gently cooking at home.

The first two of three winter Magical Musical Moments (MMM) concerts will have taken place by the time this Link is distributed. On 8 December, Cantocordia entertained a full church with period classical music; and on 10 January, the internationally renowned Collegium Regale from Kings College, Cambridge captivated another ‘full house’.

On 5 January, the 19th consecutive annual Rectors Plate indoor bowling competition took place in Needham Market. Offton PCC recognises the extraordinary effort that Dave and Jane Scofield put in to arranging what has become a major fund raising event for Offton church, and this year was no exception. A total of approximately £1,700 was raised for church funds. We must also record our thanks to all the other helpers who ran the kitchen and bar, the washing-up, the tombola and raffle, and generally assisted where required.

Future Events
The final MMM concert of the season will be held on Saturday 8 March, and full details are available elsewhere in this magazine.

The annual Quiz will be held on Saturday 29 March at 7.30 pm in the village hall. So put it in your diary now and try to make up groups of 6-8. Light refreshments will be available in the interval; however, most people like to bring a full evening picnic and drink with them and to set-up a table accordingly. This is always a fun event and we are hoping for a good turn-out once again.
Festival of Talents --The annual festival of talents at St Mary's in Offton will take place on Sunday 13 April at 4.30. Anyone who would like to take part by performing a piece of music, singing, dancing, miming, storytelling, reciting or generally providing some entertainment, please contact Scott Dolling on 01449 722663. Last year there was a great variety of performers of all ages and 2008 should provide no less fun through celebrating our talents -  however amateur they may be.

World Community for Christian Meditation
Mondays throughout Lent
Offton Church
8.00pm Starting 11th February
All are welcome
(No previous experience necessary)

Church Fact File
St Mary’s Church, Offton continues to develop as a building despite being over 900 years old. Mr Harry Crick of the parish very generously left £24,000 to the church in his will. This money was used to help fund an extension on the north side opposite to the main south entrance door, to house a kitchen and a toilet to accommodate handicapped people. The architect’s design perfectly matched the building, and the high quality build cost around £50,000. An unusual trench arch drainage system was employed to take away the waste. This was the first such system to be employed in Suffolk. The soakaway involved digging a 9 metre long drain some of 2.5 by 2.5 feet in dimension, covered by paved slabs. The new annex was completed in 2003 and is shown in the photograph below.

So, newcomers to the village, and present residents who have not yet ventured to the church for a service, can feel most welcomed and know that their ‘needs’ can be met. So why not give it a try?

MMM Cantocordia 8 December 2007 by Melita Frost, Dovercourt

On a miserable Saturday morning in December, my husband Alan happened to hear Rachel Sloane on Radio Suffolk mention a concert of Medieval and Renaissance music to be held in Offton church that very evening. This seemed a very appealing way to conclude a darkly dismal December day.

I was not to be disappointed; my expectations were in all ways exceeded by the reality. We enjoy attending concerts in churches from time to time, so we had some prior knowledge of what to expect. However, for ambiance, a warm welcome and superb entertainment, our evening at Offton will be hard to beat.

We knew no-one at Offton, but Maartje, the organiser of Magical Musical Moments, greeted us most warmly and made us feel instantly at home. The wine and cheese served during the interval made us feel nostalgic for a recent holiday in France during which we had indulged our liking for French cheeses to the full!

But alongside this, was the wonderful atmosphere of the church itself. The scale of the building is small and intimate. With its white painted interior walls, the church is a perfect venue for a chamber concert. Great care was taken over the lighting, spotlights were used sensitively to illuminate the musicians and other focal points, but best of all are the brass candelabra, which provide a glow so warming on a dark winter’s night.

Cantocordia are a group of four musicians from the Beccles and Norwich areas who sing and play medieval and Renaissance music on copies of authentic ancient instruments. These include the recorder, psaltery and crumhorn. The group perform in Tudor costume, which have been carefully researched and in some cases painstakingly handmade by one of the players, Anna Holzer-Montifield.

The programme was introduced by Karen Wareham and consisted of a wide selection of songs and dances spanning the centuries from the twelfth to the sixteenth. One memorable piece was Karen’s rendition on the recorder of “The English Nightingale” in which it was clearly possible to make out a dialogue between two birds. Shakespeare’s song “Rain and Wind” from Twelfth Night, with its highly appropriate refrain “the Rain it Raineth Every Day,” was a popular finale to the first half and had the audience joining in enthusiastically! The second half ended with seasonal songs including the Boar’s Head carol.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening and hope to come again.
Our thanks to everyone at Offton.

Magical Musical Moments
The last concert in the series Concerts by Candlelight, can be enjoyed when Four Voices accompanied by Lisa Cheadle on piano come to entertain with a programme called From Mozart to Musical,
a varied repertoire with something to suit everyone's taste.
At the end, Rachel Sloane of BBC Radio Suffolk will be presented with a cheque for Ipswich-Beira Health Initiative.
Saturday 8 March at 19.30 hrs in Offton Church
Tickets (£10 including free wine & cheese board ) from 658024
Full details on

Friends of Somersham School

With the new year underway, FOSS has a new writer for the ‘Link’. Hopefully I will manage to do as good a job as Jenny, keeping you all updated with the activities we are organising to raise funds for the school. FOSS would like to extend their sincere thanks to Jenny for offering to stay on as Chair of the Committee even though her son is now at secondary school.
For all of you who come along to our fundraising events and support the school, every raffle ticket purchased and every donation received goes towards benefiting children at the school. Here are just some of the things that we were able to purchase last year with the money you helped raise:
Play books for key stage 2
Drying rack for the children’s paintings
Storage bins for reception, yr 1/2 class
A cooker and trolley so all children can enjoy cookery sessions
A Children’s newspaper subscription to ‘First News’
£1000 of science equipment
£1000 of maths equipment
Contributions to workshops and theatre groups
Donations for residential school trip for yr 5/6 at JCA
Donation for a school trip to Felixstowe
Collapsible stage
Christmas presents for the children
Christmas donations for each class
The newly purchased collapsible stage was put to good use with several performances of the school Christmas Panto. We all enjoyed ‘Panto Pandemonium’ with superb acting from all the children!

Thank you to everyone who came along after the Christingle and enjoyed the refreshments, especially Leita’s mince pies! We hope the children liked their Christingle oranges. Congratulations to the winners of the hampers, drawn after the Christingle and the Panto.
For 2008, we are planning several events. There will be a Beetle Drive at the school on Thursday 31st January 6pm to 7.30pm. It will be £1 entry, which includes crisps and a drink. This is always lots of fun for children and the grown ups!
We are hoping to hold a children’s fashion show where you will be able to purchase children’s clothes age 2-14, some modelled by the children. Date to be confirmed.
We are planning on holding another archive film evening and probably another scarecrow festival as it was so successful last year. Dates to be confirmed. There is of course the summer fete, which will be on Saturday 21st June.
Finally, for a few other ways you can help us raise extra funds, if you got a new mobile phone for Christmas or in the January sales, please drop your old one into the school for recycling. We will also recycle your old printer cartridges and we collect all of the supermarket tokens.

FOSS are looking forward to working closely with the school and the Governors this year and thank you all for your support.
Clare Davies tel 832569

Nanny / Mother’s help required to care for two children aged 4 and 5 years. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11.30-5.30. Term time only. Tel: 01473 657173




2008 Parish Council Meetings

All scheduled meetings for Somersham Parish Council for 2008 will take place in the Village Hall. Meetings will be held in the Committee Room and commence at 7.30pm, apart from the Annual Parish Meeting which normally takes place in the hall. The dates of the meetings are as follows:-

Wednesday 6th February 2008
Wednesday 5th March 2008
Wednesday 2nd April 2008 – (Annual Parish Meeting)
Wednesday 7th May 2008 – (Annual Parish Council Meeting)
Wednesday 4th June 2008
Wednesday 2nd July 2008
Wednesday 3rd September 2008
Wednesday 1st October 2008
Wednesday 5th November 2008
Wednesday 3rd December 2008

The press and public are welcome to attend any meeting of the parish council.
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Precept/Budget 2008/9
Every year a parish council must set its budget for the forthcoming financial year and Somersham Parish Council has resolved to only increase its budget for the year 1st April 2008 – 31st March 2009 to take account of inflation. Therefore the precept for the year 2008/9 will be £12,095.

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Housing Needs Questionnaire
Every property in the parish of Somersham will receive with this edition a questionnaire aimed to assess the local housing needs. The parish council wishes to assure residents that all information given will be treated in the strictest confidence. The questionnaires will be collected by representatives from the parish council between 22nd and 26th February, or if you prefer the form can be returned by the 26th February using the FREEPOST envelope enclosed with the questionnaire. The parish council is hoping for a good response to the survey which will enable an accurate assessment of local housing needs to be made. A few minutes of your time now could help meet the needs of the community of Somersham in the future.
* * * * *

Council Vacancy
Somersham Parish Council needs you to fill a vacant by co-option. If you, or you know of anyone else who is on the electoral register and is over 18, would like to help influence the way Somersham develops, please contact the Chairman, Richard Browne on 831321, the Clerk, or any of the other councillors. Any of whom will be very happy to give you further details.
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First Responder Scheme
Following the article in the last edition of the newsletter interest has been expressed in becoming a community responder and it is looking more hopeful that a Community Response Team can be established. Volunteers from neighbouring parishes are also welcome to apply. Training in the use of cardiac equipment is given and the community teams work under the umbrella of the East of England Ambulance Trust. Many communities have already established a Community Response Team and the parish council will help in any way it can. If you are interested and would like further information please contact the Clerk who will pass your details on.
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Supporting People in Suffolk
Supporting People is a national programme funded by Government which funds housing related support services to enable vulnerable people to live independently in the community. Leaflets are available giving full details of the type of support available to vulnerable adults across the county. More information can be obtained from the website,, email, telephone 01473 58182.

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


Alan Munson, Piano tutor at Flowton would like to congratulate the following pupils on their achievements in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Autumn Music Exams:

Olivia Sherred from Elmsett who passed Grade1 theory with distinction

Boya Robinson from Willisham who passed Grade 4 theory with merit

Tel: 658425


Chernobyl Children coming to Mid Suffolk

Many of you reading this may remember hearing about, or even meeting Nastia and Diana, two children who came from Belarus in February 2007 for a one month recuperative holiday. Kevin and Elizabeth Parker from Needham Market were Host parents to these children and were very grateful for the support and donations of gifts, clothes, toys etc received from the local Community.

So successful was this visit that Victor Mizzi MBE, founder and Chairman of the Chernobyl Child Life Line Charity has asked Kevin and Elizabeth to start a local link to enable small groups of children to be bought to Mid Suffolk. The following is a brief outline of the work of the Charity:

In April 1986, the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, 12 km south of the Belarusian border, exploded. Belarus was the country worst hit by the disaster, with 70% of the fallout landing on its territory. It is currently estimated that it will take 400 years to rid Belarus of contamination. The radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident was 90 times greater than that from Hiroshima.
Medical experts expect as many as 40% of children exposed to Chernobyl's radiation to develop thyroid cancer over the next 30 years. In 1988, 83 children were revealed to have thyroid gland problems. In 1989 the number was 807, and in 1990 it had risen to 9,924. A cycle of despair, poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse is becoming endemic in some areas. However, whilst many people despair, most are extremely resilient, kind and generous even though many are desperately poor

The charity, Chernobyl Children Life Line, was founded to help the children of Belarus. The Charity is voluntary – there are no overheads, with the exception of postage, stationery and telephone bills – and no salaries, all donations go towards helping the “Chernobyl children”.
The charity aims to bring children from Belarus affected by the Chernobyl disaster to the UK for respite care. It is estimated that one month with a family here in the UK boosts their immune system to such an extent that it gives them upwards of 2 years on their life expectancy.

The children who live in towns are likely to live in one of the many crumbling tower blocks that are such a feature of Belarus. It is very unlikely that they have their own bedroom and many have to share with parents. Children who come from villages are likely to come from extremely poor backgrounds. The homes are little more than wooden sheds and they are unlikely to have running water.
It is estimated, that today more than 2 million people in Belarus alone still live in contaminated areas - there is no access to "clean" food. People still till their fields, herd cattle and eat the produce of their labours. Those who do have access to imported food have to face prohibitive prices which are often beyond their means.
Many of the children who come to Britain may appear normal and healthy, but they are all subjected to the effects of radiation. Their plight is often worsened by lack of medical facilities, contaminated food, shortage of medicines, lack of nutrition, poor and over-crowded living conditions, unemployment, and difficult family circumstances. The children we host will not be suffering from serious illness but will have been selected based on their circumstances and need for a recuperative break. Each group is accompanied by an Interpreter who is generally a school teacher and will be English speaking.

There are many ways in which YOU can help. You may be interested in:
Becoming Host Parents – Age is immaterial, a loving home is imperative. You may have children of your own, you may work part time, Host Parents come from all walks of life.
Supporting a Host Family
Hosting the Group’s Interpreter
Being a helper at an activity or outing during the children’s visit
Supporting our Fund Raising efforts
If you speak Russian - helping with interpretation
Donations of much needed items for the children to return home with such as multi vitamins, toothbrushes, good quality new and second hand clothes, shoes etc..

Whatever your age, whatever your circumstances, all help is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in finding out more please contact either Kevin or Elizabeth Parker on 01449 760343 or email to: We need your help but more importantly, The Children of Belarus need you!

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


Mid Suffolk South Team
Mid Suffolk District Council Offices,
131 High Street Needham Market Suffolk IP6 8DL
Tel: 01449 724997
Hello again ,
Crimes of interest In the area
There is an increase again of theft of tools and equipment usually from vans etc which are often left outside .They are often targeted as they the business details on the side , this often gives the criminals information about what equipment may well be on board .
If you own or use a van for your business and have to leave tools etc on board overnight, it is worth giving some consideration if the security of the vehicle can be improved , such as extra locks on the doors , leave the vehicle backed up to a wall or garage so the rear doors can not be opened , additional security lightings, fitting alarms etc .If possible don’t leave any tools and equipment in vehicles overnight .

Credit Card Scam
I would like to make you aware of one of the latest Scams …..It’s a very convincing one. The scam has variations but works like this …
…you receive a call from a person purporting to be from the security department of your credit card company .They will state that they have your card flagged due to an unusual purchase .They will appear very professional in their manner, often with the sounds of a call centre in the background, this is to create an impression they are genuine and put you at ease .They then go on to discuss an alleged purchase on your card, which is fictitious.
They agree to credit your account and need to verify you are in possession of the card. To do this they ask you to quote the seven digit code on the back of the card ( the numbers near to your signature )

The first four numbers form part of the card number, the last three are the security pin number.

Having these numbers allows fraudsters to use your card details to make internet purchases etc .

Your bank will never under any circumstances ask you to confirm the last three security numbers . This is a very slick scam …….beware.If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters PCSO 3155 Sian Uttley or myself would be more than happy to discuss this with you Our contact telephone number is 01449 724997
Our e mail addresses are or
Please remember that there are occasions when we 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
Mid Suffolk South Safer Neighbourhood Team

Somersham Football Club

As winter begins to bite, the results have tended towards the negative side for both teams, with the 1st team gaining 6 points and the reserves adding just 1 to their tally through the months of November and December. The club is still contending with injuries to an already small squad and credit must be given to the managers, and the players who have played, that only one game has had to be postponed in this period. There are signs of the injured returning and hopefully, now that the temptations of Christmas shopping Saturdays are gone, enthusiastic young men also returning to play football while they are still in the prime of their lives!

The 1st Team

Saturday 10th November Waterside - Div 3 (A) Won 2-1
With no game for the team on the previous Saturday most of the lads were well rested prior to this match. An excellent team performance against difficult opposition recorded a win with goals from Dan English and John Hughes.
Saturday 17th November Albion Mills - Omnico Cup (A) Won 1-0
Some revenge gained by Somersham after our poor display away to Mills in the league in October. Dale Munson scored for Somersham from the penalty spot and the team defended well. On balance I would have preferred the 3 league points from our meeting in October.
Saturday 24th November Salvation Army - Primary Cup Rnd 3 (A) Lost 3-2 aet
This match, against Division 2 opponents was played at Stowmarket on a very cold day. Somersham worked extremely hard and, at times, played some very neat football, but had to do the lion’s share of the defending. We equalised close to full-time to take the game to extra-time and were confident of winning through. However Sally Army scored in the final minutes to go through to the next round.
Saturday 1st December Coddenham - Div 3 (H) Won 3-2
Not a great display from the home side against a poor Coddenham side. The points were gained however through goals from Kieran Cotterell, Terry Lawrance and Stefan Nielsen.
Saturday 8th December St Clements - Div 3 (A) Lost 1-0
In ridiculous weather (freezing wind and rain) and on a mud bath Somersham started the game quite well. However, after 10 minutes veteran midfielder Ian Littleboy went into a 60/40 tackle (not in his favour) and came out with an extremely large gash! After the ambulance took him away to receive almost 30 stitches, the game resumed. A draw would have been a fair result on the day, but a combination of poor Somersham finishing and difficult conditions saw St Clements steal the points.
Saturday 15th December Elmswell - Div 3 (H) Lost 2-1
A poor display from both teams saw Elmswell take the points with Kieran scoring the home goal.
Saturday 22nd December Ipswich United - Div 3 (A) Lost 3-2
Another poor overall display from Somersham against reasonable opposition saw us concede another league defeat. Damon Crick and Ben Hurrell scored the goals but poor finishing and sloppy defending did for us. Although not the reason for the loss, the referee being on first name terms with the home team was of interest!

Saturday 29th December Crane Sports - Omnico Cup (A) Lost 7-0
Although we expected a very tough test against a Senior Division team we failed to help our cause with absolutely no forward play in the first 45 minutes. Considering this, 4-0 down at half time was not bad! We played some better stuff in the second half but it was all over. To be fair, Somersham would have had to have played to their limit to get close to the opposition, it’s just a shame we didn’t do ourselves justice.

The majority of the league matches played by the 1st team this season should have resulted in the team gaining points. However having now lost five, three by the odd goal, a big improvement will be needed to lift the team into promotion contention.

Three football basics need to be understood and implemented by the whole team. Communication throughout the team needs to become as natural as cotton underpants, converting clear-cut opportunities will win matches and finally, simple and basic defensive mistakes must be eradicated.

The Reserves

Saturday 3rd November Saxmundham Sports Reserves- Div 5 (A) Lost 3-2
A reasonable performance from the reserves against seasoned opposition but they will feel they could have got something from this match. Patricio Pascarella and Craig Fordham scored the Somersham goals.
Saturday 10th November Bramford Road Old Boys Reserves - Div5 (H) Lost 5-2
Steve Breitsprecher and Brendan Keegan bagged the home goals, but BROB proved to strong for the Somersham defence.
Saturday 17th November Halesworth Town Reserves - Div 5 (H) Drew 1-1
A dogged performance from both teams saw honours even after 90 minutes. Damon Crick scored for Somersham on his return to action.
Saturday 24th November No Game
Saturday 1st December Tattingstone United - Div 5 (A) Lost 7-5
A tale of two defence’s best sums up this match. Craig Fordham scored 2 and Damon Crick, Brendan Keegan and Craig Ottaway each got 1, with Craig Ottaway scoring his first in Somersham colours. In every game bar one this season Somersham would have taken points with 5 goals.
Saturday 8th December Stowupland Falcons ‘A’-
Football Kitz N Pieces Cup! (H) Lost 1-0
Another determined effort from Somersham, but they were unable to break through the Stow defence and so bow out of the strangely named cup for this season.

Saturday 15th December No Game
Saturday 22nd December No Game
Saturday 29th December No Game

Get over the field and have a gander!!!
Al Chester.
8th November 2007.

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