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Benwick’s Bi-Monthly Community Magazine

During the War

May 2014

page 14

School Ofsted Report - Good

page 10

Scout Group News www.benwickbugle.co.uk

page 9 1


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This edition begins a look back at Benwick during the period of the First World War through the memoirs of Florence Sismey which were written in the 1970’s.

EDITORIAL Editor: Adam Keppel-Garner 1 Lilyholt Road Benwick, PE15 0XQ

Florence’s memoirs paint a vivid picture of life in Benwick from mail@benwickbugle.co.uk 1914 and I am sure will be of 07584 057 228 great interest. Florence was the mother of Albert Sismey who unfortunately passed away in March at the age of 81. A gentle reminder that the elections for theEuropean Parliament take place on May 22nd; your polling station is the village hall. The Village Sports committee are still in need of helpers to ensure the event continues. If you have some time to spare please read page 28. •

In This Edition... Benwick Youth Facilities 4 News from our MP 7 Benwick in Bloom 8 Scout Group News 9 Ofsted report praises School 10 Circuit of the Fens 10 Benwick Butterflies 12 During the War 14 PCSO Report 18 Benwick Ladies Club 21 Letters to the Editor 21 Benwick Forget-me-Nots 22 Doddington PPG 24 ‘Ritings from the Rectory 26 Parish Council Update 27 Village Sports Day 28 Village Contacts 30

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YOUTH FACILITIES by Emma Tyler Having attended the meeting prior to the village assembly, although supporting the development of the play park for young children, we are a group of teenagers who feel it would also be beneficial for there to be more activities for our age group.

and especially parents of teenagers please use the web link below. http://svy.mk/1j9XIZZ If you are a secondary school student in the village, we also need your opinions so please complete the survey with this hyperlink http://svy.mk/1mztaEh If you have any questions or queries about this cause feel free to email me at emma@tylerbenwick.co.uk

We understand that a collection of teenagers, either on the streets or in the play park, can seem intimidating to other members of the community and can be associated with anti-social behaviour. If there was a venue where we, as teenagers, could meet where we would be safe and have adult support (similar to the Youth Bus which used to come to the village on a weekly basis) we should be able to reduce the amount of noisy gatherings of teenagers. This in turn, would make areas of the village, such as the play park, more attractive to families with young children. With this in mind, we would really appreciate your support by completing an online survey. Adults www.benwickbugle.co.uk 4


Do you have an interest in looking after children? Would you like to do a fulďŹ lling job in your own home? As a career and lifestyle, fostering children enables you to make a real dierence in helping young people reach their full potential.

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NEWS FROM OUR MP by Stephen Barclay It is welcome news that Benwick is to take part in commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, as part of the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy campaign. Local groups such as Street Pride and In Bloom have sowed thousands of poppy seeds, with the flowers due to bloom later in the year. It is a poignant way to mark the anniversary and I hope that many residents will enjoy the flowers whilst appreciating their significance. Residents may be interested in two petitions that I have launched regarding Pretoria Energy’s plans for an anaerobic digester plant in the area. Residents have been in touch to present the case both for and against the development, with people raising concerns about the traffic it will generate and the problems associated with heavy tractors and trailers on the narrow Fen roads.

net/petition to register your view. A key priority in Parliament has been fixing the unfair schools funding system left by the last government, which saw money diverted towards cities at the expense of shire counties. It is therefore great news that per pupil funding in Cambridgeshire will increase by 7%, the biggest increase for any county in the country, after intense lobbying from Cambridgeshire MPs, schools, and parents. This is an important boost to our local schools and will help heads, governors and teachers to more fully unlock the brilliant potential of local students and although more still needs to be done it is a brilliant start. We must now work to ensure that this is not reversed when the funding is next assessed in 2016.•

As such, I have decided to launch petitions both for and against the development, in order to get a clear idea of residents’ views on the development. Visit stevebarclay. www.benwickbugle.co.uk

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BENWICK IN BLOOM

plants to grow up them and further enhance the borders.

Valerie Gobie has been very busy by Pat Cuthbert setting up our website and we also carried out a litter pick through the The Benwick in Bloom team have now cleared the shrubbery of weeds, village in April and we will be cut back the bushes and seeded with planning another shortly. wild flowers. Finally we would like to thank all the villagers who have given us seeds The footprint of the old St Mary’s and indeed planted them up for us church has also been seeded with their help is so very much Flanders poppies and wild flowers. There is at present still a lot of work appreciated by the team. in the cemetery with the clearing of large weeded areas and general tidying up, plus more planting is to be carried out, but we are well on the way to completion and hopefully with good weather all will be finished in time for the Anglia in Bloom competition judging. It has been a very busy month for our small team and over the next month we will also be planting up our tubs with the red, white and blue theme we are using this year in honour of the WWI centenary. We will also over the next few weeks be planting more perennials in the play park and Skiefs Row.

If you have any comments or would like to assist our group in any way then email benwickinbloom@aol. com• G

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The Benwick Scout Group have built two obelisks for the two beds in the Please call 07962444168 for further information front of the play park and The Or visit www.gillturton.co.uk Beavers are painting them, once fully completed they will be installed for www.benwickbugle.co.uk 8


SCOUT GROUP NEWS by Rod Glen The Scout Group attended the annual St George’s Day Parade in March recently. The was a good turn out from all groups in the Fenland District. Pictured are the Benwick Beavers as they wait for the parade to start. I was fortunate enough to attend the recent parish assembly. I was very impressed by a group of highly motivated and articulate teenagers who were seeking support from the parish council to facilitate some form of activity for teenagers. They are desperate for some form of youth-based activity group or youth club. At the meeting we were told that it would cost £12,000 a year to to guarantee that the Youth Bus would visit the village every week. The parish council does not have that sort of money to spend. There is obviously a need in the village for something.

insurance to all members – included in the subscription fees. They will carry out the necessary Disclosure and Barring Service background checks at no cost for adults in Scouting. Training of leaders and helpers is provided – again at no cost. We have access to a wide range of activity resources. We have permission from the Scout Association to set up an Explorer unit. We have young people wanting something to do. All we lack is adults to run it. So come on people of Benwick – the teenagers want something to do, there is plenty of high quality support from a national organisation. Get involved and help make something wonderful happen! So what are you waiting for? Join the adventure today and make a difference!•

The Scouts Explorer section could provide this at minimal cost. The Scout Association provides both public liability and personal injury www.benwickbugle.co.uk

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SCHOOL OFSTED: GOOD Benwick Primary School has been made significant improvements according to a glowing Ofsted report. The latest report shows the school having improved from “satisfactory” in 2012 to “good” with several outstanding features.

The report highlighted two issues which stopped the school being rated as “outstanding”: pupil’s handwriting and presentation skills slowing their progress in English and that other adults who support pupil learning not always effectively carrying out their roles. To read the full report visit bit. ly/1smKWtw •

The report praised the leadership and management of teaching which had raised teaching standards and noted that pupils make good progress. Teaching across the school was regarded as good and lessons have become more fun and engaging. The report praised the leadership and management at the school too, noting that governors are challenging and have a good knowledge of the school.

CIRCUIT OF THE FENS The 2014 Circuit of the Fens will be held on Saturday 26th July. Once again the race will be coming through the village and the village organisations are once again preparing to celebrate the weekend. One of the festivities will be a scarecrow competition – so get preparing ready for the theme which will be announced shortly.

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Full details will be in the next edition of the Bugle. • www.benwickbugle.co.uk


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BENWICK BUTTERFLIES As of September 2014 (hopefully) Benwick Butterflies will no longer be run as a charity organisation but as a privately owned childcare setting. After many months of being unsuccessful in gaining members to join the committee to help run the setting a proposal was made by Jenny Fell and Natalie Humphrey to take on the group personally, this proposal was presented to members at an EGM on Monday 24th February where a vote was cast in favour for the change. Butterflies, alongside Jenny and Natalie are going through a variety of procedures at present and we are hoping that the change will be finalised in time for the start of the new school year in September. Most aspects of Butterflies will remain the same, Jenny and Natalie intend to continue running a Pre-school, Holiday Club and Parent, Baby and Toddler Group alongside each other. These groups will continue to run from the Children’s Centre by current members of staff. Although the 12

majority of things will remain the same, there will be a few changes put into place. There will be a name change, when the final change is implemented Butterflies will be known as Flutterbies Childcare, there will also be an extension to opening hours. Both Jenny and Natalie work in childcare settings and have high aspirations for the group, we feel it is an exciting time for the group and wish them the best of luck for the future. In the mean time we are currently enrolling children for September, if you would like to visit the setting or enquire about session availability please contact us on 01354 677733. Please remember our Parent, Baby and Toddler Group runs every Thursday (term time) from the Children’s Centre, 1.30pm until 3pm. It’s a great opportunity for the children to play and take part in a variety of activities. There is always tea/coffee available for adults and a snack/drink for the little ones.

Follow us on facebook to keep up to date with our setting activities, www.facebook.com/ButterfliesPreschool • www.benwickbugle.co.uk


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DURING THE WAR To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, we are looking back at village life through the eyes of Florence Sismey. Florence wrote her memoirs in the 1970’s she looked back to Benwick in 1914 aged 13 years old. By the spring of 1914 the troubles in Europe were spreading and a great recruiting campaign was begun, with posters everywhere and meetings in every town and village. On August 4th, England founds itself at war. News of the outbreak of war came to the village by Telegram to the Post Office and the following evening Officers of the Territorial Army came to call up their men.

The corn harvest had started and with the men away all available labour was called in. My mother was asked to go tying I the fields and said she would try it, and of course I went with her. One of the saddest things I remember about that year was the requisitioning of the farm horses for war purposes. I remember that the day they came to Keyworth the head horsekeeper watched the horses do with the tears rolling down his cheeks. They left enough of the older horses to get the harvest in. After the corn, it was time for the potato harvest which was very hard work; especially when we had to lift the baskets full of potatoes high over the side of the cars. We girls were exhausted, working 7:30 to 3:00 most days. It was whilst having our ‘dockey’ in the fields that year that I saw my first thermos flask. We had read about them, but never thought of owning one – let alone taking one into the fields. It was amazing to see the steaming tea poured and although it only held about three cups it was always shared. I enjoyed lunch times as the women were friendly and we shared many jokes and talks. -->

A meeting was held in front of the Boot and Slipper where they made speeches, practically promising the young men they would be home by Christmas and the war would be over. I think about 40 men left that night, in traps and on bicycles, leaving very sad mothers, wives and sweethearts. www.benwickbugle.co.uk 14


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The village seemed very quiet without all the young men but when news came that they were digging trenches to live in and fight from, various organisations started working parties and collected wool for knitting them socks, scarves and gloves and to send out parcels of useful items. A party of young Methodists met at The Limes every week to exchange news from our friends and to renew supplies of wool for our knitting. The wool came in large hanks and had to be wound into balls, and the menfolk were set to wind whilst we got on with the knitting! There was a great demand for bandages for the wounded, and we tore old sheets into required widths and rolled them tightly. The old clean rags that were of no use for bandages were scraped with knives to make soft lint swabs to save cotton wool. You must remember there was no man-made fibre at the time and all cotton had to be imported – and the German submarines were already at sea.

Rationing was introduced and seemed very inadequate at first. In the village we were a little advantaged compared to the towns as we could get plenty of good potatoes cheaply and could grow greens and other vegetables in our gardens. We could get eggs too at first, although as feeding stuffs got scarcer, so did the number of hens. Milk was obtained from the farmhouses, or out of tins, condensed or dried. The shortage of sugar and fats was the biggest worry, as without these it was impossible to make the large puddings which were the mainstay of the farmworkers.

Some villagers already kept a pig, and now many more did too, feeding them on waste potatoes, vegetable scraps and any leftover crusts. All Various foodstuffs were soon in grain on the farms had to be very short supply, especially sugar accounted for to the Food Office, as we didn’t grow any of our own but it was a poor master who would then, and large quantities of cheese, let his worker’s pig starve and I saw bacon, dried fruits and grains for many a wheelbarrow load moving bread flour all came from abroad. after dark!• www.benwickbugle.co.uk 16


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PCSO REPORT

by Sally Mitchell

Residents were invited to influence what the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and Fenland District Council were to adopt as their community key concerns by completing a short questionnaire. 20 surveys were completed from Benwick, and 12 raised issues for the team. The main issue was speeding down the High Street, Doddington Road and Ramsey Road. Other issues raised; which Fenland DC will be looking into, were dog fouling and fly tipping. Unfortunately I have to report that two crimes were reported to the Police this month. The first was an outbuilding on Ramsey Road which was broken into and garden equipment stolen. The second was that a vehicle on Chapel Gardens was entered overnight and had items stolen from within. A speed watch carried out by Special Constable PC Offer on April 1st saw one driver reported for exceeding the speed limit. On April 22nd two new volunteers were trained and out of the 44 vehicles logged, 4 were exceeding the 30mph speed limit.• 18

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BENWICK LADIES CLUB by Brenda Richards Unfortunately the speaker for our March meeting did not turn up, however we still had an enjoyable evening by tackling two different quizzes and by catching up on the latest gossip. We also made arrangements for car sharing for our visit to Wistow woods to view the bluebells. In May (19th) Doreen Reed will present poems and tales of everyday life.Then in June (16th) we having a garden party accompanied with cocktails courtesy of Carl Gobie. Meetings are from 7.30- 9.30 •

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Quite by chance I walked back to my home on Friday, in the direction of the Park and was shocked by the mess I saw. At the time there were at least a dozen people in the park, but maybe no adults. The mess was still there on Saturday, so I did a litter pick where I collected over 300 pieces of rubbish. Frankly I wonder if the users of that Park Area deserve any additional investment directed their way! Certainly, the School needs to educate more re. litter ; additional “tactful” poster notices need to be put up in the Park ; and perhaps in the Benwick Bugle Parents need to be made more aware of their responsibilities and if they are in the Park at the same time as their children, clear up a bit – after all there are 2 bins readily available to put rubbish in whilst they are hanging around – not to mention the fact that it sets their children a commendable example. Let’s hope for a cleaner future.

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FORGET-ME-NOTS by Janet Fountain Marie Carden, our speaker at the March meeting was excellent and had everyone spellbound. She became disabled in her forties and for a very long time was at a low ebb until she was given a dog trained by the “Dogs for Disabled” and she told us what a tremendous difference her dog “Blue” has made in her life. “Blue” demonstrated how he could pick up a pound coin which Marie had dropped and take her glasses from her bag. We were told how he helps by getting clothes from her drawer, although not always colour co-ordinated. She takes him shopping and he gets requested items from the supermarket shelves. After the meeting we received letters of thanks from Marie and the charity to say she had received a very warm welcome from our members and the £106 from donations and from merchandise sold were acknowledged.

her great grandmother. These ranged from babywear, ladies wear and even a gentlemen’s nightshirt and there was a black lace sofa cover used at funerals. Angela’s friend Hilary passed the garments around so that we could see the intricate hand made lacework and embroidery. Our annual birthday party was on Thursday, 1st May when a ploughman’s supper was served. The entertainment this year was by Dave Parry. The meeting on 5th June will be a games evening and the competition any item beginning with the letter W. Members old and new and visitors always welcome. Over 55 and need more info please call Janet on 677228. •

Our April meeting was very enjoyable too. Angela Wyatt brought along her collection of Victorian clothes which are heirlooms from 22

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Benwick Forget-me-Nots Day Trips 2014

Join the Forget-me-Nots on one of our great days out. All are open to everyone, so to book your place please call Janet on 677 228.

Wednesday 21st May Ten Pin Bowling Starts at 11 am at Guyhirn

Wednesday 16th July Lowestoft Departs Benwick at 8.30am

Wednesday 18th June Bury St. Edmunds Departs Benwick at 8.30am

Wednesday 20th August Mystery Tour Departs Benwick at 11.30am

Wednesday 10th September Coronation Street Tour Departs Benwick at 8.30am

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DODDINGTON PPG

by Jill Tuck

The Patient Participation Group continue to conduct various fundraising events to help provide improvements for the benefit of patients. We continue to raise money for little extras required at the surgery the latest being the Easter raffle. In June we are hoping to hold a “Living with diabetes” event with a professional speaker giving useful information for Diabetics and

their families who are living with the disease. Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend. Further information will be provided as soon as dates and venue are confirmed. Also I would like to remind everyone who is a patient at Doddington Medical Centre that you are automatically a member of the Participation Group and extremely welcome to attend the meetings.•

Workshop at : 5 Century Way, March, PE15 0HR

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‘RITINGS FROM THE RECTORY

by Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon

Forgiveness is possible and that is good news The message of Easter is that Jesus died for the sins of the world and was raised to life 3 days later and that He offers new life and forgiveness to all who are willing to receive His gift. Forgiveness means that we can receive God’s forgiveness for all the wrong in us and that in His power and by His spirit we can become agents of His forgiveness in a hurting and dysfunctional world. Someone who perhaps has learned much about this vital mission is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who headed up the South African ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ in post apartheid South Africa. Wherever he goes he is constantly asked the question to which we all desperately need to know the answer “How do I forgive?” In response to this Desmond and his daughter Mpho (an Anglican Priest) have written a new book called “The Book of Forgiveness – The Fourfold 26

Path of healing ourselves and our world.” They lay out the simple but profound truths about the significance of forgiveness, how it works, why everyone needs to know how to grant it and receive it and why granting forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves when we have been wronged. They explain the four step process of forgiveness – Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting Forgiveness and Renewing or Releasing the Relationship – as well as offering meditations, exercises and prayers to guide the reader along the way. As well as the book Desmond and Mpho are also offering a chance to join in a free and interactive “Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge”. You can find details at www.forgivenesschallenge.com It is a 30 day journey of Forgiveness starting on 4th May, it is a challenge to act together to learn forgiveness so that we can change the world! We all need to find and give forgiveness in our personal lives and relationships, in our communities and our nation and amongst the nations of the world.

Jesus love and power really can set us free. The Tutu’s write “With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great we move toward wholeness. www.benwickbugle.co.uk


Forgiveness is how we bring peace to ourselves and our world.” Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’, if the power of His resurrection could help us all to do this then these would be wonderful life lessons for us all to learn. Let me know if you try it and it helps. •

PARISH COUNCIL At the March meeting of the Council it was agreed to install a 6m flagpole at the War Memorial as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. The Council also agreed that a special service be held on Sunday 3rd August where one of the Councillors will read aloud the names of those who are remembered on the village memorial.

ZOE JOLLEY D.Pod.M M.Ch.S HPC Registered PODIATRIST/CHIROPODIST

ELITE FOOT CLINIC 10 ELWYN ROAD MARCH also Home visits by arrangement Providing treatment for  In Growing Toenails  Corn and Callous  Fungal Infection  Cracked Heels  Verrucae For an appointment ring 01354 740371 or 07789 772033

At the April meeting the Council officially supported a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act for a percentage of Business Rates to be returned to Parish Councils. The Council also agreed to seek a quotation for the upkeep of the Pound and to see if the old railings from the cemetery could be used around the area. The Council meets on the first Monday of each month in the village hall where the public are entitled to attend. You can read agendas and minutes of the meetings online at www.lilyholtroad.co.uk.

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VILLAGE SPORTS DAY by Mark Tyler There are two very important dates for your diaries in the next couple of months! June 28th will be the day of the Village Sports, with lots of races for the children but also entertainment to keep the whole family amused during the afternoon. We’re hoping for sunny weather to make the event even more enjoyable! Don’t forget that children will need to be supervised by a responsible adult during the afternoon! We need lots of help on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly so if you can assist in any way - helping at the finish line, barbecue, raffle etc, we would love to hear from you. Without your help the event is going to be a struggle to pull off effectively!

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If you can’t make it but want to be involved just ring me on 677373 or email at mark@tylerbenwick.co.uk Looking forward to seeing you all later on! •

This leads to the second date for your diary, May 11th, when we are meeting to plan the event. 7.30pm at 2B High Street, we need any volunteers to join us so we can make sure we will have enough people to run the event safely. 28

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VILLAGE CONTACTS Benwick Tang Soo Do Beverley Angel 672804

Benwick Parish Council Clerk: Jacquie Richardson 677 856 benwickparishcouncil. clerk@gmail.com Benwick Village Hall Patricia Tickner 677279 patricia.tickner@yahoo.co.uk

Benwick Butterflies Preschool Children’s Centre, High Street 677733 Jenny Fell: 677848 benwickbutterflies@hotmail. com

Benwick Residents Association Lyn Keppel-Spoor 677494 linda.keppel-spoor@tiscali. co.uk

Toddler Group

Benwick in Bloom

Friends of Benwick Church

Jill Hindle 677141 benwickinbloom@aol.com

Albert Sismey John Hoffman

Benwick Scout Group

Friends of Benwick School

Rod Glen 677799 www.1stbenwickscouts.co.uk

Jessica Wood 672972 friendsofbenwickschool@hotmail.co.uk

Kirsty Thompson 07818 509 027

677238 677878

The Forget-Me-Nots Janet Fountain

677228

Details need updating? Let me know: mail@benwickbugle.co.uk 30

Benwick Ladies Club Brenda Richards 677480 3 High Street

www.lilyholtroad.co.uk www.benwickbugle.co.uk

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May / June 2014