The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC

Sixty years After....

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: How well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

W. H. Auden. Musee des Beaux Arts. December, 1938.

'Allied invasion troops, surging into France in mighty non-stop waves have fought their way into Caen, a town ten miles from the coast. Heavy street fighting is going on… Along the whole front of between 80 and 100 miles from Cherbourg to the mouth of the Seine the offensive is gaining momentum Already terrific convoys have been assembled on the one-time holiday beaches'…So writes the Daily Express of Wednesday June 7th 1944, reporting the action of the day, following D Day.

With holiday beaches like Normandy in mind, and the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of D Day just finished, we now look forward to our summer holidays which are, no doubt, for many just around the corner. We continue to be amazed when we think about the many brave young men and women who gave their lives, or risked losing them to free Europe and the wider world. Without those heroes, we quite possibly would not be able to enjoy holidays in Britain as we know them, let alone holidays in France, the rest of Europe and even further across the globe.

Since the end of World War Two, we have witnessed much change in the world, particularly in the advancement of science and technology. Progress in aviation and lower cost fares, modern ferries, motor cars and not forgetting the 'every motorist's nightmare', the caravan, have made it possible for us to holiday in countries that in the past, only the 'better off' would have been privileged to visit.

In spite of the outcome of the Second World War however, and the massive changes for good that have followed in its wake, some lessons appear not to have been learnt. Whilst we have the ability to travel, to take pleasure from our leisure time and holidays, it is easy to forget that, perhaps, the country next door or close to where we are staying does not enjoy the same freedom, independence or democracy that we treasure. Some countries and states throughout the world still know of nothing but suffering, civil war or unrest.

As summer comes upon us and we exchange school and work for the long awaited annual break, let us not forget those less fortunate than ourselves, those who have never known peace, or had the freedom to travel. Whilst we are riding a camel in Egypt, lying on a sun-kissed beach in Spain, climbing a hill in the Auvergne or fishing in the Lake District and Scotland, let us pray for the continuing movement towards peace in countries of unrest. Together with this, may we the lucky ones, help in our own little way to bring change and reconciliation to these nations.

Let us hope that during the next sixty years our prayers will have been answered, and we will be able to say we have a totally peaceful world, as was the wish of the heroes of World War Two.

Wherever you travel this summer, have a wonderful time and keep safe. Mary Fagg

From the registers
Farewell to

Winnie Jackaman, aged 79 years, born in Flowton and for many years resident there, whose funeral took place in Flowton Church on May 24th. Her ashes will be interred in the churchyard at a later date.

May she rest in peace

Winnie Jackaman was Flowton born and bred. She had a great fund of stories about life in Flowton during the 20th century - especially interesting were her stories of Bostock's circus - but she could talk about all aspects of life in the country.

Winnie had many interests -Speedway, showing rabbits, the Royal family, Whist Drives, thimble collecting, keeping hens, walking her dog, doing jigsaws and knitting. When local radio began she listened avidly and also contributed to programmes. But she was also a kind and supportive godmother, a caring daughter and sister. She was down to earth but with a Christian heart of gold, full of compassion and caring. She knew pain, suffering and loss of memory, but remained interested in what was going on in her home village.

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

4th July Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Isaiah 66. 10-14 Psalm 66. 1-8
Galatians 6. 7-16 Luke 10. 1-11, 16-20

11th July Fifth Sunday after Trinity
Deuteronomy 30. 9-14 Psalm 25. 1-10
Colossians 1. 1-14 Luke 10. 25-37

18th July Sixth Sunday after Trinity
Genesis 18. 1-10a Psalm 15
Colossians 1. 15-28 Luke 10. 38-42

25th July St. James the Apostle
Acts 11.27-12.2 Psalm 126
2 Corinthians 4. 7-15 Matthew 20. 20-28


Mother's Union

For our last meeting before the summer break once again we are kindly invited to Miss Joan Dorrell's home in Ipswich for our Wave of Prayer service. This is an afternoon we all enjoy greatly and hope for a fine day to enjoy her garden. Transport will leave from the village at 1.40 pm.



July 4th and 11th Frances Southgate
July 18th and 25th B. Pryke

July Cleaning Team A


July 4th Mrs Grimwood
July 11, 18 Mrs Turner
July 25 August 1 Mrs Carter

July Cleaning Mr and Mrs G Watkins


July 4th 11th Mrs Pam Redman
July 18th, 25th Mrs Leita Minns

July Cleaning Mrs Crickmore


July 4th & 11th Mrs Fisher
July 18th & 25 th Miss Taylor

Cleaning as above

Flowton News

Various people have been asking about a flower festival and gardens open event next year - well the response earlier this year was very poor so I discarded the idea, and now people are saying, "Well, I just thought you would count me in." Well, I did not wish to presume so did not.

So now I am asking you all if you would like to plan for a Flower Festival and Gardens Open event in summer 2006?

I know that it is a lot of work for everybody but it was a superb result last time and generated a lot of interest throughout East Anglia and I think that if we all become involved in some way we could do as well or even better next time.

Please complete the response slip below, or contact me in some way before the end of July - if you do it soon after reading this magazine you will not forget! Thanks. Mary Carter

Contact via: telephone 01473 658522
note through the door of Otterditch
text message to 07960255698
or speak to me in church!

I would like to: offer my garden
help with the flowers
help in some other way
With a Festival in Summer 2006.
I think a good weekend would be…………………………..

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

The new rota of services began in October - and there are changes for the holiday. if you have any doubts about this listing please contact the churchwardens. Thank you.

July 4th - 4th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion by extension 6.30pm Flowton

July 11th - 5th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion
8:00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Songs of Praise 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

July 18th - 6th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Willisham
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

July 25t St James the Apostle

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Songs of Praise 6.30pm Somersham


Somersham & District Gardening Club

May was a busy month for the Club with 37 members enjoying a visit to Bresworth House Garden in Cotton. After a rather wet time we were lucky with the weather that evening and after a guided tour by owner Mr Bullock we were served refreshments on the terrace and had the opportunity to buy plants.

The following week a group of members were taken around Bonny Wood by Suffolk Wildlife Trust Guide Richard Cage. It was a chance to see different wood management techniques and enjoy the wild flora and birdsong.

Also in May was our club's Plant Sale. We raised approximately £170 for the Speaker Fund, and thanks must be given to those who donated plants, manned the stalls and cleared up after our sell-out. Do hope all those purchases are now thriving in your gardens.

By the time you read this we should have had our June Meeting - visiting gardens in Offton.

The July meeting is back in
Somersham Village Hall
on July 12th at 7.30 pm.

Our speaker is Sue Robinson
from Bury St Edmunds.
Her talk is entitled "Scents for All Seasons".

Guests and new members always welcome.
Join in July for only £3 for the remainder of the year!

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

Crime Reports.
Not a busy month. Which is all to the good. However there have been incidents in the area.
In Somersham almost £1000 of fishing tackle was stolen from a garage during the afternoon of Tuesday 4th May. Burglary offences don't always take place at night, burglaries in residential areas often occur during the day because that is when houses are empty burglars don't like to meet anyone.
In Combs overnight 3rd and 4th June around 60 gallons of diesel fuel was stolen from a lorry in whilst parked in a compound. The fuel pipes on the vehicle were removed and the fuel drained from the tanks. This has been a problem in the Claydon and Blakenham areas over the last few weeks. Please take all precautions possible and ensure that vehicles are parked in secure areas or where they can be seen at all times. Also make use of any security features the vehicle has in the way of alarms and locking fuel caps.

Cycle Safety
Last year I carried out cycle safety training at the primary schools on my beat and when checking cycles found that over 75% had faults. Some with no brakes whatsoever. I hoped things would improve and they have but only very slightly with well over half of the cycles checked having faults and again some had almost no brakes. I find it nothing less than amazing that anyone allows their child out on a pedal cycle without making regular safety checks. Brakes, reflectors, tyres, headset bearings, crank and pedals, seat. All need regular checks.
Cycle helmets are a must but again check then to make sure they fit and the catches are effective.

Whats Norm
Or rather what is normal. Do you know what should be happening in your street or village? How well do you know the people who use your street. Would you be able to tell what was unusual? In other words do you know the norm for your area. Only when you observe the norm can you observe the suspect. I am not asking you to be nosy neighbours just to be vigilant.
When you do notice anything suspect do something about it. If you think the police need to know tell us as soon as possible. If you think it warrants a police officer immediately call 999. If you are not sure, call 999. We prefer to find things are actually in order rather than a crime that could have been prevented or detected.
If can assist with or require further information about any incident mentioned in these notes please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters) if I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields. Please remember there are periods when I am rest day for 4 days. If you require urgent action do not leave message, speak to another officer.
My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself, and don't forget my letter box in Somersham Post Office.

Kevin Shields, Pc980

To go to the Suffolk Police web site please click here

To go to the Neighbourhood Watch site of Suffolk Police click here

Golden Link

The Golden Link are running a coach to Bury St. Edmunds on Wednesday July 14th, leaving Somersham at 10.15am and Bury at 5pm.
This is not a wheelchair -friendly coach; sorry it is not available on this occasion.
Fare £5 per person.
Contact Joy 831823 or Betty 748279.

Somersham Primary School

For those of you who haven't heard Mr. Marrable is no longer with the school, having accepted a new job as Headteacher at Orford School. A new Headteacher should be appointed by the beginning of next year, with Mrs. Svendsen carrying on as Head until then.

Miss Knowles has also decided to leave and is looking for a change of career for a short while. While this is a blow to the school, we do wish her well and hope she will drop in to see us from time to time. We shall know what she's up to though, because one of her best friends, Miss Weakes, has been appointed as full time teacher to Years Five and Six.

Hope you all came to the Summer Fair. What do you think of the field? Great isn't it? The children love it and can you imagine what it will be like in a few years time when everything is well established!

July is always a busy but enjoyable time at school and can also be rather a sad time of year when the Year Sixes leave us. This year the Leavers Disco has had to be moved to an earlier date all due to "Busted" deciding to come to Christchurch Park on the last day of term. Did they not know that is the traditional date for the Leavers Disco? Oh hum, never mind, all you children who are
going to the Park, have a great time.

Something else special is happening in July, see the invite else where in the Link. Please make the effort to come to the children Shakespeare Evening they have worked so hard for it, coming into school each Thursday evening for months. Should be a lovely evening.

All that is left to say is we hope as always that the children moving up into the High School have a wonderful time when they get there. That they work hard and play hard and are proud to be "Fusties". (It only lasts a year!)

Here hoping everyone at Somersham School have a lovely summer holiday and that the sun shines on you all.


A big thanks to everyone who ran, helped or came to the Summer Fair. We don't know how well it went at this point in time as we're writing this at the beginning of June but here's hoping it went really well and that everyone enjoyed themselves.

At this time of the year we like to tell you of the items that FOSS money has paid for. Firstly, in December, the children all received a book from Father Christmas, then a travelling theatre came three times, once paid for by the parents (The Pied Piper) the other two by FOSS (Robin Hood and then an afternoon of Tudor history. This was a huge hit with the children. Well worth the money.

The class teachers asked for "Wet playtime games" which are now in place in each classroom in nice boxes, that is apart from Class 4 who had CD ROM's for the computers instead. (Well, with all the play equipment in there they didn't really need games as such.)

It was also requested that a new set of books be purchased for group reading, which were duly bought.

Next on the list was a digital camera with all the things that go with it. This has already been used time and time again and has proved invaluable to the school.

And now the best bit! We have purchased netball posts, and to go with that a set of skirts, tops and bibs for the girls to wear when they play tournaments. Then there will be two five a side football posts and a football strip consisting of shirts, shorts and socks so the boys look as smart as the girls when playing away from home. The girls' skirts are red with black shorts, white t-shirts/socks. We would have liked black t-shirts but almost impossible to get unless you pay a fortune for them. The colours chosen for the boys are red and black (we did think to start with red and white like the men's football team but it was requested by a mum, who is going to look after the kit, that perhaps red and black might be better - she was thinking about boys and mud, with the occasional grass stain up the sleeves!).
If anyone out there is handy with a sewing machine we would like kit bags made also. FOSS of course would provide all materials, so if you'd like to give us a hand please phone the school on 831251 and leave you name and phone number. Thank you.

Think that's about it for this year!

A big thank you to Miss Knowles for being a part of FOSS, we shall miss you. If we don't see you around have a lovely life.

And a big thank you to you on behalf of the children of Somersham School. If it weren't for you there would be no point in FOSS running.

Just to finish, good luck to the children who are moving on to High School, as they say "break a leg!"

STOP press...........stop press............

FOSS are planning an informal evening of local chat at the school in mid September. The plan is that we shall have local guest speakers who shall reminisce about their life in and around Somersham and will be open to questions from the audience and/or memories of their own. Hopefully we shall be able to record the evening for future reference. The evening will be open to all ages. We can remember how interested the children were when we had a similar event at the Millennium Celebrations.

For the older members of the community transport can be laid on as long as we know about you. Phone the school on 831251 and leave your name and number/address and we shall get back to you.

Please look out for further information in and around the villages and if there is anyone who you think would be interested please let them know too.

A Shakespearean Evening

Years 5 and 6 will be performing a
"Midsummer's Shakespearean Evening"

July 5th and 6th
from 6.30 to 7-30 p.m.
in the school hall

It will feature songs and excerpts from the Shakespeare for Kidz production of
"A Midsummer Nights Dream"
and will include the life and times of
William Shakespeare
and an interview with the man himself!

Tickets will be on sale at the school priced £2.50 for adult tickets to include a glass of wine or soft drink, and £1.00 for children's tickets to include a drink.

Tickets will be available from Monday June 21st to Thursday July 1st from the school office.

Please join us for what hopes to be an enjoyable summer evening in the school hall, and afterwards, weather permitting, on the school field.

Somersham CSC News

Somersham's first win can't be far off if the home fixture against Hethersett is anything to go by! This was another cracking match with a full strength Stars line-up scoring solidly throughout, but going down by a small 87-90 margin. At the half way stage we actually held a 5-point lead but the tactics to ride safely and defend that lead backfired. The opposition finished with strong pairings and took the lead in the penultimate heat, meaning the Stars had to beat the British Champ in the last race. It was all over at the gate with limited grip hampering the Stars' efforts to pass.

In the sport's national cup competition we were knocked out at Norwich losing 93-79. There were numerous unexpected falls on the slippery surface but Barry Copping displayed stunning form and was unbeaten. A rider who never turns down the chance to race, Barry has now developed the track craft to match his gating skills. He also top scored at Kesgrave where it rained just like last year!

Lee Ridgewell made his team debut in this meeting scoring a solid 11 points, but we still lost 105-75 to a squad tipped for honours.

Better news on the individual front as the South East Grand Prix kicked off at Hethersett. Andy Mittell sprang a surprise on the home favourite, beating him twice on the way to winning the U-16 group at Hethersett. In the seniors Gary Brown finished second.

Next fixture at Somersham is a Junior Meeting on June 30, 19:00, an
event ideal for newcomers under 13. Then Kesgrave visit on July 13.

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


Farm Machinery Preservation Society


Saturday 3rd July 10.30-5.30
Sunday 4th July 10.00-5.30


Admission: Adults: Sat.£3.50 Sun.£4.00
OAP's £2.00 Children £1.00

Enquiries: 01787 375301 - 01245 420168

All profits to charities


By popular request Offton Song - version 3 May 2004

I've always been an boy, I've journeyed up and down,
I've spent time in Berkhamstead, and I've lived in London Town,
I've tasted many fruits of life, of apple grape and quince,
Then I came to live in Offton, and I've never looked back since. ( Repeat last line.)

A motorist stopped, and said to me - 'I want to make a visit,
I'm trying to get to Offton, can you please tell me - where is it?
Um, yes well: Its near the pub, it has a church, but not all maps will list it,
If you find yourself in Willisham, the truth is - you have missed it.

I'm glad we have a village pub, The Limeburners by name,
It's had a change of owner, but does well just the same.
There's music on most Sunday nights, the standards very high:
They're building on a restaurant, so please give it a try.

No need to cook on Tuesday nights, its easy to survive;
You see folks waiting by the church for the chip van to arrive.
The bells are rung to summon you, there's a band in the village hall - but
- if he sells out at Somersham, then he won't turn up at all.

You get to know what's going on if you read the Link:
There's adverts for important things, like - who'll unblock your sink.
Our constables give good advice to keep us free from crime,
So thanks to PC 980, and PC 839.

Yes - Our magazine tells everything, no matter good or bad,
It told about that friendly horse that's died - and that is sad.
Then happy news of something that goes a little slower,
There's two appointed riders to use our brand new mower.

The saga of the village hall has had its ups and downs,
Committee members faces have shown some heavy frowns;
Planning rules and finance caused a lot of froth and fizz
But things have come full circle and its staying where it is.

Some workman built this concrete plinth up in Castle Road,
It looked very sturdy and could take a heavy load.
Was it for a statue of folks just moved away? - no,
It was for a litter bin to keep rubbish at bay.

I'm happy now I live my life in a country way,
And now I know how good it is, in Offton I will stay.
With city life it seems to me, they're always in a fix
It's better for your peace of mind - to live out in the sticks!

Somersham Church Notes

Thank you to everyone who donated to Christian Aid Week by leaving envelopes at the designated places. There were 26 envelopes handed in, but there may well have been others who chose to send their donations directly to Christian Aid.

The Jars of Grace collection through Lent raised £17.03 in Somersham, which has been sent to Unicef.

The Garden Party will be on Saturday 10th July at Park Farm - see ad. elsewhere, but please remember any donations for the various stalls would be most welcome. We would love to receive cakes, plants, raffle prizes, tombola prizes, items for the crafts stall and produce. If anyone feels able to help on the day that would be great too! Don't forget the Teddy competition. If you have some items but can't get them to Park Farm on the morning of the Garden Party, please ring Pat Woolhouse (831080) so that we can arrange to collect them. There will be a pick up service from Brook Way to Park Farm between 1.45 and 2.15pm.

Looking ahead to October there will be a Harvest Concert with the Suffolk Police Choir on Friday 8th October in the church, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 including a Ploughman's supper. These concerts are always popular so book your tickets now!

Come and see the revamped Children's Corner in the church. There's chairs just right for little bottoms, pictures to colour, books to look at and toys to play with - everything to keep little ones amused during services! Let us know what you think, along with any other ideas to make the church more "children-friendly".

(Many thanks to Mary Fagg for sorting through and adding to the corner.)

I just wanted to write and say thank you very much for everyone's kind encouragement and support during my time in hospital.

We had so many letters, cards and presents that I decided it would take me until Christmas to thank everyone!

My Nana and I are grateful for the help you have all generously offered.

Now that I am recovering at home, I hope to get about to see you all some time.

Phoebe Fordham

The Golden Link Club members
thank very much those who supported our recent
Spring Jumble Sale.
The final total came to £170 for which we are most grateful.

Somersham & District Community Association

Playingfield Improvement Project - Update

Since our last article the committee has been working hard to put together a funding plan and to complete the application forms to the potential funders. The funders that we hope will support us are:

* Living Spaces
* Foundation for Sport and the Arts
* Suffolk Environmental Trust
* Mid Suffolk District Council
* Suffolk County Council

We already have a contribution of £5,000 from Baroness Ros Scott, our County Councillor, out of her Locality Fund. It is good to get something in the pot to start us off.

The committee have also made sure that the project costs are kept up to date as estimates have a limited life and it is important to know accurate figures when talking to the funders.

We are in the process of considering options for the final plans which are being professionally prepared. These will then be used for the planning application.

If anyone would like to know more about the project, have any comments or would like to help please contact any of the following:

Terry Fordham - Tel 831529 Mike Shelmerdine - Tel 831661
Steve Woolhouse - Tel 831080 Richard Fordham - Tel 830602
Derek Ottaway - Tel 832562

St Mary's Church Somersham

Summer Garden Party

on Saturday 10th July
from 2 to 4.30pm
at Park Farm House

Free admission and car-parking

FROM 1.45 - 2.15PM
"Teddy dressed for Holiday" Competition
(teddy's owners' ages 11 and under, over 11,
judging at 3pm)
Bike Assault Course, Cakes, Tombola
Welly-boot throwing
Beautiful feet Competition

(male & female! Judging at 4pm)
Kiddies' Craft Corner
"Hang out the washing" Competition
Crafts Plants & Produce
Raffle Refreshments

and many other games & attractions.

10% of profit to St Elizabeth's Hospice

Somersham & District Community Association
The Association held its AGM on 27.5.04 and a gratifyingly large number of members of the public attended. There were not enough sets of minutes to go round, as Chairman, Mike Shelmerdine, had seriously underestimated the turnout.

Mike reported that the debt incurred to the Parish Council for building the pavilion has been paid off. He mentioned the vandalism of the pavilion, litter on the playing fields and touched briefly on the several complaints about the state of the playing field and the equipment. The old slide is to be taken away in the near future. Grass cutting had been maintained and litter was cleared when the grass was cut. Litter is an ongoing problem and he appealed to users of the field to clear any litter found.

The response to his brief report was a lively exchange from the floor concerning the state of play equipment and pressing for a definite date for repair or replacement; however you can't be specific when relying on the goodwill of local assistance. Some felt the lack of public awareness of the Community Association stopped volunteers from offering help with the running of the Association and the upkeep of the playing field. There had been no reports in the Link for some time. The Chairman apologised for the fact that few committee meetings had been held recently. He explained that a small sub-committee was meeting regularly to search for funds to implement improvements to the playing field. The floor felt that their progress should be reported as often as possible. The Chairman agreed that quarterly committee meetings be held and accepted an offer by Mrs Heming to act as Communications Officer, reporting progress, however slow, in community newsletters. Eligibility for membership was queried by some present. As the Community Association is a charitable trust it is bound by a standard constitution issued by the Charity Commission with the ability to translate this to suit local needs. A chairman, treasurer and secretary are the elected officers; the committee consists of a representative of any active association in the village. It is up to the individual club to keep the C.A. up to date with their representatives' names. As with any club or association it is up to the Committee whether committee meetings are open to the public, or even the full membership.

Election of officers. The Chairman felt that new officers with fresh ideas might forward the Association's aims. The critics unaccountably ignored this opportunity for change. Chairman, Mike Shelmerdine and Secretary, Steve Woolhouse were re-elected. The Treasurer was not present and having moved to Ipswich, may not be willing to carry on in which case a volunteer will be needed. A summary of the association's accounts was available.

Terry Fordham then reported on fundraising for the playing field improvement plan. This is going forward slowly, each funding body having a different set of criteria. The plan, as drawn, is not set in stone and if, by the time funding is available, fashions for play equipment have changed, this can be taken into account.

The usual cry of why haven't we got a fete this year, met with the usual answer, no volunteers. However, everyone was delighted when Claire Cutler said she would take on next year's fete providing a viable committee could be formed. Claire can be contacted on 01473 831806. All those who "want to see something done", can now rally round and make sure it is!

A lively meeting ended with the Chairman's thanks for attendance and assurances that any future offers of assistance with the Community Association would be gratefully received. (Contact Mike on 01473 831661).

Nicky Heming
Communications Officer (wot a posh sounding name!)
Tel: 01473 831594


The start of the Summer League, we were looking forward with enthusiasm to the first match - against Great Blakenham. A very good match took place at the Somersham Village Hall, very close from start to finish but unfortunately the visitors ran out the eventual winners on points, so we were quite disappointed.

The next match was another close affair, this time against Whatfield, but again the result went against Somersham, the teams dividing the games 2 apiece but Whatfield running out the winners on shots.
So there again we are still looking for a win at home, perhaps we just need the extra little bit of luck and the results will change to our favour. Our next occasion to seek the elusive winning streak will be when we next play away - our first away game being at Hadleigh. We do seem to have more focus, fairly readily adapt to the character of the carpets and therefore tend to play better away; so who knows? ...We could be looking for the first win of the Summer League.

The games differ slightly in the summer league whereby each club fields 2 teams of '4 players' and 2 teams of 'pairs'. The Winter League consists of 4 teams of 4 players. This is because during the summer months there are not so many club members available for selection due to summer holidays.

Since the last Link entry the club has had its AGM, which gave the club the opportunity for the members to air the year's events, and put forward any suggestions and modifications beneficial to the Club.

Summer League (May results)

Team Shots Points
Gt.Blakenham 42 - 32 6 - 4 Lost Home
Whatfield 52 - 44 6 - 4 Lost Home

Offton Church News

Festival of Talents 2004

What a wonderful range of talents was on display at this year's Festival on 9th May. I would like to thank all those who took part for the entertainment they gave to the "audience". The programme was so very varied and delightfully played, sung or spoken by a wide age group from 8 to 76 years old.

After a number of years arranging the festival I have asked Scott Dolling if he would like to take this on from next year. I am sure that you all know Scott who lives in Castle Meadow and played the flute and drums in the Offton Trio at this year's festival. It is with great pleasure that I am able to tell you that Scott has agreed to this request so when the time comes he will be contacting you about taking part in next year's festival will be held on 8th May 2005. Scott's telephone number is 01473 658733. Again my thanks to you all, Paul

Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Sponsored Bicycle Ride September 2004
This year it will be on 11 September. Remember the money raised helps your own church as well as other Suffolk Churches. Contact Alison Rumsey for details. 01473 658591

Annual Whist Drive on Saturday 25th September 2004
in Offton and Willisham Village Hall at 7.30 pm

The your garden
April saw the start of the return of our summer visiting birds. Firstly came the Chiffchaff announcing its arrival with the distinctive song which gives it its name. The Blackcaps sang loudly, followed by a Willow Warbler and the Cuckoo, Turtle Doves and Common Whitethroat.

We all thrill at the arrival of the Swallows each year. None bred in the shed at home that they used in both 2001 and 2002 and I had virtually given up hope last year until August when a pair arrived. They managed to raise a brood before flying south in September. This year a pair arrived in mid April, nested and have reared 4 chicks. Whether they were the same birds, I don't know.

There are encouraging numbers of Skylarks and Yellowhammers singing in the fields and hedges together with Greenfinches and Goldfinches and a pair of Bullfinches have been on the apple blossom. For the third year in succession a pair of Marsh Tits (with black caps) are in one of the nest boxes. I presume they are Marsh rather than Willow Tits because the former are more common..

Birds I have not seen or heard for the last couple of years are the Spotted Flycatchers - they did try to breed a few years ago but the nest was predated - and also the Nightingale has been missing.

Having lived in Flowton for over 10 years and planted many hedges and trees, the number of birds nesting has gone from 3 (2 House Sparrows and the Swallow) to about 25 (excluding nest boxes). These include Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Linnets, Bullfinches, Swallows, Wrens, Moorhens and others.

As Treasurer of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, may I take this opportunity to recommend this most worthwhile organisation which exists to protect and develop wildlife in our county. If anyone would like to join, please let me know on 652424.

Thanks to Terry Lock of Flowton for this article. It would be most interesting to hear from readers if they have sightings of any different or unusual birds (or butterflies - see last month's article by Terry Proctor) in their gardens. Do let us know and we will share with our readers. Contact the Link secretary on 658330 or email to

Somersham Baptist Church

Revival, will it ever happen again?

As a Church we delight in the good news of a God who enters human history to provide determined sinners with forgiveness, bearing their punishment and fulfilling their duty. We see ourselves not as good but as guilty people, not deserving this favour. We love the bibles teaching on the nature and character of God, and look for every opportunity to speak of him to others. But we long for the experience of God that revival brings.
Churches have been revived in the past. The churches of East Anglia in 1921 and those of Wales 1904/05 were transformed by a remarkable period of spiritual consciousness that spread to many in the surrounding community.

It is only in such times that the indifferent and antagonistic are brought to recognise the glory and necessity of the good news of Jesus in significant numbers.

Following the revival in Lowestoft 1921 there was a renewed emphasis on evangelism. At Elmsett two Faith Mission workers 'saw thirty-six come to Christ, and the place was revolutionised'*. During 1923 after speaking of their new found faith in Jesus fourteen young people were baptised at Somersham.

This centenary year of the Welsh revival only serves to highlight our spiritual poverty. Great truths were never intended to be a goal in themselves, but to bring us into the presence of a great God.

* Quoted from 'A Forgotten Revival; East Anglian and N.E. Scotland 1921' by Stanley C Griffin. Dayone Publications 1992.

Sunday 13th July No meeting at the Chapel. We have hired the conference centre and grounds of Wetheringsett Manor for a Church, family and friends away day. Please call Mark for further information.

Regular Meetings

10.00am Prayer
10.30am Coffee break
10.45am Bible Study; Junior Church for school yrs 1-6
11.15am Coffee break
11.30am Worship
12.00pm-12.30pm Preaching

Ladies Meeting

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship 2.30pm Friday 9th July

Children and Young People (Held during term time)
Yr. 1-6, Wednesday Club 6.30pm.
Yr. 9 on, 14+ Friday 8.00pm,

Christianity Explained; Six sessions, which deal with Jesus, Salvation and becoming a Christian, to find out more contact Mark.
Somersham Baptist Church, Chapel Lane, Somersham, IP8 4QE

Pastor Mark Newcombe 01473 831940 e-mail
Colin Low 01473 464833 or Edwin Mayhew on 01473 658100. Web site


Tollemache Hall

Gardens Open

Sunday 25th July - 2.30pm - 6.00pm

Entrance fee £3

In aid of the British Red Cross

The Golden Link Club

The Golden Link are running a coach to Bury St. Edmunds on
Wednesday July 14th,
leaving Somersham at 10.15am and Bury at 5pm.
This is not a wheelchair -friendly coach; sorry it is not available on this occasion.
Fare £5 per person.
Contact Joy 831823 or Betty 748279.

Flowton's May Miscellaneous

A most enjoyable evening of music and prose commenced with young musicians Anna and Oliver Cartwright, Hannah Eaton, and Megan Conway all played exceptionally well on their instruments Flute, Clarinet, Piano and Guitar respectively. This was followed by a Guitar duo Jonathan and Iain Conway, eloquent singing by Rohais and Lisa, travelling all the way from Sussex, playing the cello. Brenda entertained us with "How to give a cat a Pill" Sentiments cat owners (can one ever truly own a cat) could sympathise with. Ted, Cara and Scott who not only entertained us with their now familiar style but lead a 'singalong' of "All around my hat". The performance finished with Simon and Jamie, part of the local rock band "Stone Idols", adding a something for everyone feel to the evening. Between the acts our MC Gordon Watkins kept us amused with a few yarns. Afterwards musicians and performers could mingle with the audience, enjoying the wine and refreshments.

Our thanks to all the musicians and performers and the MC, Gordon who kept everything running smoothly, to Mary and team for the catering, Gordon and Wilma for arranging the draw prizes, Graham and Peter for running the bar and the flower ladies who made the church attractive for this event. The evening raised over £350.00, which goes towards church funds and 10% towards a local charity.
Alan Munson

Stop press……..

Offton Church Fete score over £1000 rain DID NOT STOP PLAY!

A huge thank you to every one. There were loads of contributors helpers in all sorts of guises including plastic bags when the heavens opened. It is impossible to write personally to everyone so please take this as a sincere thank you to you for your personal efforts. Happily the sun came out, the cow was milked, the bears parachuted from the tower. The exhibits in the church were varied and fascinating. The stalls from tombola to plants were busy, the teas welcome and the games enjoyed. My grandson wants to come back next year and I hope everyone else does too.
Lucy Vignoles

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