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Welcome to Brandon We’re now onto our sixth edition of the Brandon Town Magazine and already our second of 2014 but we’re still working to improve what we bring you every month. If you’re part of a group, ask them to get in touch so we can include their latest news. Don’t forget you can also contact us by email on if you would like to let us know of any upcoming events. We would like to thank Dave Hetherington and Jean Betts for supplying the photos for the cover of the magazine this month. Regards The Brandon Town Magazine Team

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Deadline for March issue 14th February Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information contained within this publication, the publishers take no responsibility for the accuracy of statements made by it’s contributors, in any advertisements or for any loss arising from non-publication of any advertisement. Reproduction of any part of this publication without permission is strictly forbidden. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher.



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Your Letters Dear Editor, Shoestring Theatre Company would like to invite everyone to a fun open evening which we will be hosting, on Tuesday 18th February from 7pm at IES Breckland School. There will be lots of fun things to do, and it will give an insight into what we do, and what Shoestring is all about. We will have DVDs of our previous shows running, and members of Shoestring will be on hand to meet and greet you, talk to you about what we do at Shoestring and do some fun things on stage which you are more than welcome to join in with. Don’t worry... there won’t be any lines to learn, just lots of fun and laughs to be had throughout the evening. There will be some of our costumes from previous shows for you to look at and possibly try on, as well as scenery, and props to look at and handle. Our sound system and lights will also be available for anyone who is interested in having a go at using them. Tea, coffee and refreshments will also be available during the evening. Everyone over the age of 16 is welcome to come along. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult. This evening is totally free of charge and we hope that if people come along to meet us and see what we do, then they might think about joining us and become members of Shoestring. New members are given the opportunity to ‘tread the boards’ and go on stage if they wish, but there are always opportunities for those who would prefer to help backstage, at front of house, with lights or sound, costumes and many other jobs which are all equally important to put on a show. An awful lot of hard work goes on to put on a show, where everyone takes a part and this open evening will give you the opportunity to see just what is involved and how much fun we all have. We are an extremely friendly and welcoming group, where everyone gets along with each other. Everyone at Shoestring is considered equal, and we always welcome new members. Our membership at present is very limited and we desperately need more people to join us, especially adult males and females. Shoestring Theatre Company has been together now for almost 30 years, and and in order for us to continue we need new members. We are hoping that this open evening will encourage you to come along and see for yourselves what we are all about, and hopefully join in. Please, please make a date in your diary for 18th February to come to our open evening where you are promised a warm welcome from all of us. We look forward to seeing you there. Shoestring Theatre Company Dear Editor, On behalf of the staff at Brandon Medical Practice (Elbourne Surgery) I would like to convey a huge Thank You to all our patients for their wonderful Christmas gifts and cards. We were truly overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. May I take this opportunity to wish all our patients a healthy and very happy new year. Denise Chittenden - Practice Manager



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Shoestring Theatre Company Shoestring Theatre Company would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to our pantomime on 9th, 10th & 11th January, which this year was “Snow White.” The show told the traditional story of “Snow White,” together with lots of singing, dancing, comedy and opportunity for the audience to cheer the goodies and boo the baddies in traditional panto style, as well as the usual “it’s behind you” & “oh no it isn’t... oh yes it is” and of course the community song. Everyone who took part in the panto, both on stage and behind the scenes, thoroughly enjoyed every performance, and our excellent and responsive audiences for each evening and the afternoon matinee only added to the fun we all had. Although we had a limited number of people in the audience at the opening night, they were an excellent crowd, in very good voice, and their enthusiasm for joining in far outweighed the lack of numbers. The first show went really well, and both the audience and the cast enjoyed themselves throughout the evening. This was followed by 3 more performances over Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening where once again everyone enjoyed themselves. We sincerely hope that everyone who came to our pantomime enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed performing the show. After all the hard work involved in putting on any production, and all the first night nerves, it makes all the difference when we have good responsive audiences who join in with the fun, and we were certainly not disappointed once again this year. You were all terrific! Once again, thank you for supporting Shoestring and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

We would also like to invite you to a fun open evening which we will be hosting, on Tuesday 18th February from 7.00p.m. at I.E.S. Breckland School, Crown Street, Brandon. There will be lots of fun things for you to do, and it will give an insight into what we do, and what Shoestring is all about. This evening is totally free of charge and we hope that if people come along to meet us and see what we do, then they might think about joining us and become members of Shoestring. Shoestring Theatre Company has been together now for almost 30 years, and and in order for us to continue we need new members. We are therefore hoping that this Open Evening will encourage you to come along and see for yourselves what we are all about, and hopefully join in. We look forward to seeing you there.


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Brandon School of Dance Classes in ballet, tap, modern, freestyle, street & contemporary Principal: Kerry Shoop Please call Kerry on 07864 025041 or visit our website for more information:

(Ballet from 3 years, Tap from 4 years, Street/Modern/Freestyle from 5 years, Contemporary from 8 years)

1st Brandon Scout Group Plans are in full swing for a very active 6 months ahead for the Scouts, Cubs & Beavers. To include camping, sleepovers, expeditions, hiking, Activity days at our camp site Two Mile Bottom, taking part in the Brandon in Bloom & not forgetting our annual Community Challenge. (OLD BOB A JOB for those of you who can remember that far back). Our first fund raising is on the 1st FEBRUARY at our HQ in the Playing Fields with a JUMBLE SALE. Abigail our Scout who is off to the World Jamboree will be running a cake stall to help with her fund raising. The event starts at 2pm till 4pm so please come down & browse & hopefully spend some money. We have had an influx of new people wanting to join our group over the past few weeks. We really would like to take more but to do this we need additional helpers. Whether you can commit to a full role or just as an occasional helper we would like to hear from you. I can be contacted on 01842 878765 or just pop down to see what we get up to. Beavers meet on a Monday from 6pm to 7.15pm, Cubs on a Wednesday from 6.30pm to 8pm and Scouts on a Friday from 7pm to 9pm. Lynda Smith GSL

Calling all Brandon Bands MAP (Music Arts Project) working in partnership with ADeC (Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire) are delighted to announce the opening of a new arts facility for young people at the Harvey Adams centre in Wimbledon Avenue, Brandon. Funded by Youth Music, the centre will offer fantastic opportunities for young people from around Brandon to experience a range of arts and music activities. As part of the project MAP are coordinating a series of public gigs. These will give up and coming musicians the chance to perform in a large venue with proper lights and sound system. The first of these will take place at Brandon Leisure Centre on Saturday 14th February. If you are under 19 and wish to perform please get in touch with project manager Nathan Jones at uk Nathan said: “If you are a local musician looking for a chance to blow away the winter blues then we want to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what ability level, age or style of music. Get in touch and we will arrange for you to attend band workshops to get you ready for the show. We are also interested in hearing from young people who would be interested in learning about helping to run the event.” For more information on MAP please visit


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Ten Questions - Councillor Norman Vant Q1. If anyone in the community would like to become a Town Councillor what advice would you give them? Grow a thick skin very quickly. Q2. What new methods of communication with the community do you think Brandon Town Council should be using? I would like to see more people taking advantage of the existing opportunity for public participation at the beginning of council meetings. Q3. We all have gadgets in our lives, which gadget could you not live without? A tool room lathe. With that I can make more or less anything else. Q4. Which historical figure do you admire and why? William Wilberforce. Abolition of the slave trade - or so he thought. Q5. Brandon has become a Town of different nationalities, language and cultures, how would you look to bring the community together for the benefit of the town and its residents? As in all things, education is the answer. People should be taught to respect individuals and value differences. Q6. The last book you read? Machinery’s Handbook. Q7. Which other committees or organisations in Brandon are you a member of? Trustee of the Lingheath and Atmere Trust. Q8. If you could improve 3 things in Brandon what would they be? Traffic, traffic and traffic. Other improvements would then follow. Q9. If you had to choose a single memory to keep what would that be? Driving my father’s car on Suffolk airfields - aged 6. Q10. Why do you enjoy being a Town Councillor? Masochism.

Brandon Events Diary We are aware that sometimes it can be difficult to plan an event in the town and avoid clashing with other events on the same day. Reading publications from other towns around the country we have decided to borrow an idea that will hopefully eliminate double booking and then struggling to find an audience or worse still stall holders to attend your event. A diary will be placed in the Town council offices where anyone can check dates and add their own. We hope once up and running to be able to produce a “What’s On” guide within the magazine to enable the greatest number of local people to hopefully attend your event. The back of the diary will also serve as an address book for local groups to add details such as, contact details, meeting venue and times. For your security this will be administered by the office member present. First up is the Brandon Carnival. Sunday June 1st.


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Puzzle Page Sudoku

Code Word

Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9.

Each letter A-Z is represented by a number 1-26. Can you crack the code and solve the crossword? Every letter of the alphabet us used at least once.

Number Pyramid Fill every box in the tower with a number. The value in a square is the sum of the numbers directly beneath it.

Word Wheel

Find as many words as you can. Words must be at least 3 letters and must use the central letter. No letter can be used more than once. There is a 9 letter word to be found.

Solutions can be found on page 31


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Chronicles of Brandon at War February 1914... Colonel Edward Phillippe Mackenzie got his name not just from his Scottish ancestors but also from the fact he was born in France. Born into a privileged life, he quickly rose through the ranks of the military, ultimately leaving the Army with the rank of Colonel and still young enough to take up a new career in law. He became a magistrate before his 30th birthday and also spent a year as the High Sherriff of Suffolk in 1882. So what has all this got to do with Brandon? Well, the Colonel has overseen the provision of education in Brandon for four decades and his defining moment came in 1912 when he proudly laid a large plaque into the wall of the new Infants School building and was presented with an inscribed silver trowel for doing so. Home for the Colonel is Downham Hall, in Santon Downham, which he shares with his wife, and they employ many staff, including a butler, footman, lady’s maid, kitchen maid, cook, housemaid, gamekeeper and coachmen. The Colonel is also Brandon’s leading magistrate and can recall a time before the town had its own court and it was a long horse ride to neighbouring Mildenhall to hear cases, and on one occasion he did not get home to eat gone 9.30pm. Now, in 1914 he is getting on and aged 72 he’s been absent from a significant number of the court sessions through ill health, only recently his doctor advised him not to climb stairs, but he still has plenty to offer the town. Today the Colonel is back to his best and is in court tackling the persistent nuisance of Robert Cole. You see Cole is well known to Brandon and his downfall is alcohol. His latest episode saw him standing in Lode Street shouting “profane and indecent language” at people. The Colonel has had enough and threatens him with fourteen days prison, but I doubt that will have much effect and I expect Cole to keep appearing in court for many years to come. Conversely the Colonel tells us he has also been the victim of crime this month and accuses Victor KentWoolsey of stealing a couple of hens off his land.

The Colonel also sits on a meeting in the Paget Hall to discuss the licences of the town’s alehouses. Apparently not one single person was arrested for drunkenness in the town last year even though there is one alcohol licence for every 127 residents! The magistrates discuss closing down the Three Horse Shoes in Lode Street because the pub is not viable and apparently the pub is only 102 paces from the Eagle Inn, 157 from the Half Moon and 159 from the Five Bells, and they are all more profitable and within staggering distance. The landlord is happy to retire and so it will close in the summer. Darren Norton Brandon at War


Glade Primary School We’re back! Refreshed and raring to go. What have we been doing to shake off the January blues? Well, we’re never blue at Glorious Glade! We have just launched our new Learning Curriculum. This focuses on 5 different strands of behaviour, one per half term; Group work; Listening & Speaking; Actions; Determination & Empathy, and for the eagle eyed amongst you, you will notice they spell out GLADE. We’ve started this half term with Actions and the children will be spending time looking at how their actions impact on others. Everyone is excited as this promises to be a very popular area of our curriculum! Before Christmas, we spent a day fundraising for Brandon Seniors Club, to raise money for their Christmas lunch. The children brought in pennies and 2p pieces and we covered a specially designed board. It was a very impressive sight! The Brandon Seniors then visited Glade this months for lunch with the pupils. Our Friends of Glade would like to thank all our contributors to our successful Christmas Fair… too many to mention here, but a HUGE thank you to you all. We could not have raised in excess of £850 without your support. This will go towards providing the children subsidised trips/treats & ‘extras’. Our governing body is blooming, we are almost up to full capacity, with many eager new members. However we have space for one more parent governor. We welcome anyone with an interest in school life. Contact us for more details. 01842 811580 or

IES Breckland The IES Breckland girls team marched into the Suffolk County U16’s Cup Final after a victorious win over Sir John Leman on 16 January. Two of our players, Lauren and Ellesse recount the momentous event. “The starting eleven had a bad start, when Sir John Leman scored the opening goal. This failed to put the girls down as they continued playing well, resulting in a goal from Ellesse, making both teams level. Play continued on equal terms with Fraya controlling her area well and the defence also contributing. Charley and Kelsey made a vital impact too and had a few near misses. However, the girls failed to avoid conceding again making the score 2-1. The IESB midfield worked hard and Chloe set a good corner up which Sir John Leman failed to defend resulting in an own goal. Ellesse then scored again putting the girls ahead before half time. During the second half the girls continued working hard and no goals were scored nor conceded. Play was also changed when Cerys, Kirsty and Megan came on contributing to the IESB team 3-2 win!” Thank you to all who came to the Christmas Fayre and Auction at the end of last term. The Raising and Giving Society raised an amazing £250 towards their chosen charity, Cancer Research, and a further impressive £400 was raised which will go towards School funds. IESB extend their gratitude to the local businesses who kindly donated raffle prizes and items for the stalls.


Forest Academy You may have been reading about the poor results achieved by Suffolk schools and this is of course a major concern for parents. However at Forest Academy we continue to promote and achieve very good standards across all year groups. This year was our first Year 6 cohort, and we achieved higher average point scores than all other local schools by a substantial amount, (the average point score is the score for all children’s reading, writing and maths results together, divided by the number of children in the cohort.) We achieved 83% L4+ and 45% L5+ in reading, 93%+ L4 in writing with 63% L5+ and 89%L4+ in maths with 58% L5+. These represent good achievement at L4 and excellent achievement at L5. There are 232 primary schools in Suffolk and Forest Academy is in the top 15% of these schools based on average point scores. We exceed national averages and have achieved particularly well at level 5. We are very pleased with these results which reflect the hard work put in by both staff and pupils. We know that by ensuring children achieve well in primary school, they have the best chance of success at high school and in the future. From our Partner School Elveden... Children from Elveden Academy enjoyed many Christmas festivities before the holidays. They performed their Christmas performance of ‘Christmas Rock’ at St Andrew and St Patrick Church Elveden. Many relatives turned up to watch and the children did a fantastic job. The children were also invited to attend St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s schools Christmas concert. The children all had a fantastic time singing well-known Christmas carols. Around the Stickman Trail at High Lodge... Children in Key Stage 1 at Forest and Elveden ventured into Thetford Forest to follow a special trail based around the book ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler. We had a wonderful morning following the clues around the forest, and we completed a number of activities including making dens and building our own stick people. We came back with lots of ideas to write our own Stick Man adventure stories!



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Brandon Town Council Report Precept At the Precept meeting held on the 13th January, the Town Council set the precept figure for the financial year 2014/15 at £254,419.00. The sum takes into account the Forest Heath District Council tax support reduction of £11,320.00. This equates to an increase of 2.5% over last year’s figure. Based on 2,355 Band D Equivalent Dwellings, the Town Council Tax for 2014/15 is £108.03. Events for the forthcoming year The Brandon Carnival will be taking place on Sunday 1st June. A Food Fair on Friday 11th July. The Orchard Picnic and the Annual Nine Stiles Walk on Sunday 10th August. Halloween event on Friday 31st October (yet to be confirmed). Christmas Fayre on Sunday 7th December. These dates are only provisional at this stage. Further details later in the year. Christine Mason Town Clerk

Brandon in Bloom Monday 20th January saw the first meeting of the newly formed “Brandon in Bloom” group. The initial idea of brightening up our town was swiftly followed by talk from Joanne Rogers, Brandon’s town centre manager, and her previous experience of “in bloom” competitions from other parts of the country. The meeting was attended by a group of 12 people from in and around Brandon with similar thoughts and keenness to brighten Brandon. Two Royal Horticultural Society schemes were discussed at the meeting, one being the “In Bloom” which most people are familiar and the other being the lesser known “It’s Your Neighbourhood”. This second scheme is a grassroots community gardening campaign helping people to make lasting improvements to their local areas. Groups are supported in their activities with advice and guidance, and receive annual feedback from expert IYN assessors, who provide tips on how further improvements can be made. It was decided that for this year Brandon should start by participating in the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” scheme and build towards “In Bloom” in future years. David Parr volunteered to be chairman of the group and anyone who would like to get involved with Brandon in Bloom, or would just like more information, should contact him by email on Let’s look forward to a popular scheme and something everyone no matter what age can get involved in, and to seeing a brighter Brandon in 2014. Details of the next meeting for those who want to be part of Brandon in Bloom will be announced soon.


This month’s

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Safer Neighbourhood Team Greetings from the Brandon Safer Neighbourhood Team. Crime continues to drop in Brandon. In December 2013 there were 36 crimes reported to the Police. To put this in perspective, 57 crimes were reported in December 2012 and 72 crimes were reported in 2011. This is despite the fact that Police receive more and more calls each year from members of the public. However, there has been a series of ‘elaborate’ scams which are being carried out by con men and women that has now hit Brandon after sweeping across the Metropolitan and Essex Police Force areas. The villain calls their elderly victim, purporting that they are a Police Officer calling from The Met or Essex Police. The ‘Police Officer’ calls the victim telling them they are from the police investigating fraud on their bank account. On occasions they claim to be working for the victim’s bank and they ask for account information including their card number, security number and PIN. Should the resident become suspicious the offender suggests they call 999 or 101 to ask for confirmation the caller is a police officer. The victim then calls the police, but does not realise that the offender has not hung up so goes straight through to them again. In some cases a female offender comes on the line and pretends to be working for the police control room and verifies the so called officer’s details. The caller is then handed back to the original offender who obtains the victims details. In other cases victims have been told a courier will be sent round to collect their bank card or have even been asked to go to their bank to withdraw large amounts of money which is again collected by courier. The police or banks will never ask for people’s bank account details over the phone and should anyone receive this type of call they should hang up immediately. The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing they may seem. If you have been a victim call police on 101 or 999 if you are vulnerable and need police assistance – and remember allow your landline to clear for at least five minutes before you call, or ideally use an alternative line. Dates for your diary: Thursday 27th February 10-12pm: PCSO Powell will be at Marks Fruit and Veg stall discussing issues and crime prevention or a chat. Thursday 13th March 11-3pm at The Royal British Legion: We are launching ‘Paws on Patrol’... Dog walkers are encouraged to join the scheme to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour by reporting suspicious activity seen during their regular walks to police. Tuesday 1st April 10-12pm: PCSO Powell will be at Marks Fruit and Veg stall discussing issues and crime prevention or a chat.


Pantry Patter - Chilli, Chili or Chilly Up until recently the origins of the chilli pepper were unknown. With the introduction of plant residue research, fruit seeds and pollen have been found at archaeological sites in the Tehuacan Vallley of Mexico dating back 6000 years. Residues of the capsicum have also been found in Peru dating back 4000 years. Christopher Columbus introduced the chilli pepper into European cuisine having discovered them growing wild in the Caribbean. However it was the Portuguese traders who spread the use of the pepper and by 1500 they could be found in Asia and the Arab world. Upon being introduced into Europe, initially they were grown as botanical curiosities by Spanish and Portuguese monks. Eventually the monks experimented with their culinary uses and found they had similar properties as black peppercorns, which at the time were so costly they were used as currency in some countries. Chilli peppers eventually found their way to Asia from Portugal soon after the Portuguese established a trade route by sea from Europe to the far east. Several stops were made on the way and this is how chillies ended up in India, especially in Goa, where a small Portuguese colony had been established. Today chilli peppers are grown globally, from large scale productions to small window boxes. There are thousands of varieties and they are all related to tomatoes and aubergines. However there are only 5 species of domesticated chillies. Now for the science bit. The intensity of heat in each variety is measured using the Scoville scale, named after an American pharmacist. To test how hot chillies are an alcohol extract of capsaicin oil, the active component in the pepper,is taken from a dried chilli and mixed with a sugar and water solution repeatedly until the tester can barely detect the heat. A Scoville unit is based on how many times the oil was diluted to reach this point. An example being if a pepper has a rating of 50,000 Scoville units this means the oil was diluted 50,000 times. So the higher the rating the hotter the pepper. Last year the chilli pepper with the highest heat rating was the Carolina Reaper grown by an American aptly named Ed Currie on his Puckerbutt Pepper Company farm. This pepper found its way into the Guinness Book of Records with a rating of 1,569,300. Now for the health bit... Cayenne, one of the major components of chilli peppers has been found to reduce cholesterol and can also decrease the grouping of platelets in the blood which can reduce the risk of strokes. Chillies can also reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. They have been found to be an effective pain reducer when applied externally. Several antiinflammatory creams sold today include capsaicin in their ingredients. Strangely enough chillies contain high amounts of calcium needed to maintain good bone and teeth health. They are good circulation boosters and blood thinners which can aid prevention of coronary disease and strokes. So, really, what’s not to like about the little red (other colours are available!) devils.


Pantry Patter - Chilli, Chili or Chilly Once you have tried this chilli you will never want to use minced beef again. The quantities here will feed 10-12 people but it’s cooked in a slow cooker, so, as with many slow cooker recipes,it tastes even better the second time around, next day. You can just scale the quantities down to suit though. 2 kg (4 1/2lbs) beef brisket, trimmed and sliced into 1” thick pieces across the grain 500ml (18fl oz) hot coffee 3 large dried chillies Olive oil 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin 2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon oregano (optional & I leave it out) 2 fresh bay leaves 2 red onions, peeled & diced 3-4 fresh chillies 2 cinnamon sticks 10 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely sliced Sea salt & black pepper 4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes 3 tablespoons molasses or muscovado sugar 3 red, yellow or orange peppers 2 x 400g tins of beans (kidney, butter, pinto) Soured cream to serve (optional) Your butcher should trim & slice the brisket for you but if you are doing it yourself, trim off any fat & silver skin. Cut the meat against the grain into 1” thick pieces. Make the coffee (for the recipe, not for you!) and soak the dried chillies for a few minutes to rehydrate. Meanwhile put a few glugs of olive oil in a large casserole type pan on a low heat. Add the onions, cumin, paprika, oregano & bay leaves. Fry until the onions are starting to soften. Deseed & chop half the fresh chillies & slice the rehydrated dried chillies. Add to the onion mix along with the cinnamon sticks, garlic, salt & pepper & a splash of the coffee. Stir, then add the rest of the coffee, tinned tomatoes & molasses or sugar. Transfer to the slow cooker, add the brisket, cover & cook on high for 4-5 hours. When the meat feels tender remove from the pan & shred with two forks. Return to the pot with the peppers & tinned beans. Cook for a further 1-2 hours depending upon how you like your peppers cooked. Taste & add the remaining chills if you need a bit more fire! Serve straight from the pot with rice, potatoes and/or crusty bread & a green salad. Dollop some soured cream on top if desired.


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February Gardening Spring is in sight! Light levels are increasing causing bulbs to shoot and flower, and many deciduous shrubs will be full of buds fit to burst. However, February is often the coldest month of the year and more than anything what you can do in the garden will depend on the weather. If it’s cold outdoors there are plenty of indoor gardening jobs to do this month in preparation for the months ahead, and on a bright day late winter gardening chores can be very pleasant. If you haven’t already done so February is the last chance to winter prune Wisteria. Wisteria can quickly become an overgrown tangled mess that fails to flower; winter pruning will promote the development of flowering spurs. Follow long spindly stems of last year’s growth back to a main stem. Then trace back along the spindly stem, count to three healthy buds. Prune at an angle sloping away from the bud, and carefully untangle! Whilst we are on the subject of pruning it is now safe to cut back herbaceous ornamental grasses, including Miscanthus and Calamagrostis. Herbaceous grasses are those that die, and then re-emerge the following spring from the ground. It’s best to leave the dead foliage in-situ throughout the winter as the dead stems provide protection from frost, however all the dead foliage should be removed before the grass has re-emerged else it’s impossible not to damage the new growth. There are many other shrubs and perennials that should also be pruned in late February including dogwoods, Sambucus (elder), Buddleia, winter jasmine and Hydrangea. February is possibly the most important month for the fruit plot. It’s the best time of the year to plant new fruit bushes and fruit canes because the plants will still be dormant. Prune grapevines before their sap starts rising and they come into growth. Strawberry plants can be planted into hanging baskets or pots and placed into a greenhouse or conservatory for an earlier crop. There are hundreds of varieties of strawberries and choosing which variety to grow can be bewildering. There are two main groups summer fruiting and perpetual. Perpetual strawberries are generally smaller fruits that are produced more than once in a season. Summer fruiting can be split into three categories: earlies, mid, and late which basically refer to the time in summer in which fruit is produced. By selecting a variety from all three groups you can be picking strawberries all summer long, rather than a glut in one week! In the vegetable plot, seed sowing can being in earnest in a warm greenhouse or kitchen windowsill. Don’t be tempted to sow every seed in the packet at once, should a late snap hit in May then tender plants can quickly become leggy. I like to sow a few ‘cut and come again’ lettuces in a seed tray on our kitchen windowsill for an early treat. Other salad crops can be grown towards the end of the month directly outside (as long as the ground isn’t frozen, waterlogged or snowcovered) including radishes and rocket. Traditionally, February is the month to sow parsnips, however I prefer to leave sowing until March, they don’t germinate in wet soils and they will still catch up. If you’ve started to chit seed potatoes and shoots are developing, a misting of seaweed solution will help the shoots strengthen and thicken up. If your shoots are pale and leggy move the potatoes into a place with more natural sunlight. If you want a splash of colour in your tubs and baskets, then primroses are without doubt the best flowering plant in February. Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon 01842 814800


Brandon & District Rotary Club Firstly, a Happy and Prosperous New Year from the members of Rotary Club of Brandon & District. We are looking forward to a busy social and fund raising programme during 2014 and details will appear in this column in due course. One of the first events of the year will be our annual Games Night on Thursday 23rd January. This is an informal evening when everyone can try their hand at traditional games such as Shove Ha’penny, darts, bowling, etc. plus a few newer ones designed to test players’ skills. Friends and family will all be welcome to join us for the evening. Also, it will be the ideal occasion for anyone interested in possibly joining Rotary to come along and get to meet members. We meet at Santon Downham Community Centre every Thursday around 7.45. If you would like to join us at the Games Night, please contact Trevor on 01842 811995. If you are interested but can’t make it on that evening, we will be pleased to meet you but you must contact us a few days in advance.

Warm Homes Healthy People Winter weather can create serious financial and physical challenges, especially for the elderly, disabled people and families with young children struggling to keep warm in their homes. Last year, there were more than 350 excess winter deaths in Suffolk, believed to be connected with the cold weather. Free help and advice is at hand. Suffolk’s Warm Homes Healthy People scheme offers support to those most in need. The scheme can help home owners or tenants who privately rent and are on a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit. The scheme also takes into account age, disability and cold related health conditions. If you’re struggling to keep warm or are worried about the cost of heating your home, you could get help with: · · · · ·

Emergency boiler and heating repair costs Winter fuel payments Free home energy survey with advice on insulation, fuel switching and cheaper oil prices Basic draught proofing Temporary loan of heaters

People with vulnerable relatives or neighbours are also urged to help them find out more about the support available. Eligibility criteria apply. For more information, call Warm Homes Healthy People helpline on 08456 037 686 (Local rate, lines open Monday-Friday, 9 - 5pm). Warm Home Discount Scheme Did you know that electricity suppliers can award eligible customers with a £135 Warm Home Discount? Receiving this discount won’t affect your cold weather or winter fuel payment. To find out more, contact your energy supplier direct. Please keep warm this winter.​


Elveden Cricket Club Junior Cricket Indoor Training To prepare for the forthcoming season Elveden Cricket Club are delighted to be able to offer junior indoor cricket coaching. Sessions will be aimed at improving the fitness, confidence and team-building skills in children. All equipment is provided. Training will be held at the Mildenhall College gym Saturday afternoons between 12:00 & 13:30. Cost per session will be £2.00 per child. Beginners (5-8 years) - February 1st & 15th, March 1st & 29th, April 12th & 26th Intermediates (9-12 years) - February 8th & 22nd, March 8th & 22nd, April 5th & 19th

For more information please contact: Chris 07714336547 • • Brian 07863296114


Thank you

from Brandon Carnival


£300 RAISED from sales of the 2014 Brandon Town Calendar

Breckland Brass Band Brandon, situated on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, is the home of the Breckland Brass Band. The band was conceived over a Christmas drink in the directors’ office of Messrs. Green Bros. Ltd. in 1950 and in the following month - 21st January 1951 - the band had its first rehearsal in the works canteen. The instruments and music were provided by Messrs Tom and Frank Green and Mr Harold Bowes was appointed bandmaster. At that time all members were employees of the company and numbered some thirty inexperienced but very keen men and boys. In fact, only three had any experience of brass banding. The keenness of all concerned was shown by the fact that the band was able to give its first public performance on the occasion of the Armistice Day Parade and service in the same year - just under ten months from the first rehearsal. Over the years the band has achieved many successes in the contesting field, including the title of Suffolk County Champions on no fewer than three different occasions. In addition, the band has played all over the Eastern Counties at both parades and concerts and has rarely missed providing festive music in the town and surrounding area at Christmas. The band owes a great deal to the first band master, Harold Bowes, a hard task master and one who maintained such a high standard in the band. It was a sad loss when he passed on in 1968. The baton was now handed on to Peter Bowes, son of Harold Bowes, who had been with the band from the beginning as a trombone player. In November 1971 the band left the company and adopted the name ‘Breckland Brass Band’. This independence gave the band a new zest and revitalised spirit and also allowed ladies to join and partake for the first time. After a very successful first year in 1972 the band were able to have all the instruments overhauled for the first time in the band’s history and at the same time all the instruments were converted to low pitch. It was hoped at the time the band would be able to invest in a new set of instruments but at a cost then of £4,000/5000 this was not to be. By 1980 the number of members had dropped to 10 and the conductor made it known that he was hanging up his baton. At the time the remaining members were unsure what path to follow but decided unanimously to attempt to keep the band going at all costs. One of the original members had heard that Christine Webber (Anglia TV) would be interested in conducting the band, she accepted the offer, and the evening she arrived to take the band for the first time many ex members decided to return to the fold. We are actively searching for new members of all disciplines to boost and improve the band as we enter 2014. If you are interested in joining us please contact: John Field (chairman) on 01842 810948, Dave Goodwin (bandmaster) on 01842 811810 or 07544 653014 or visit our website at We will be very pleased to hear from you.

Green’s Works Band (Early 1950s)

Breckland Brass Band (March 2007)


We need you today You may need us tomorrow To donate £5 text heli to 70500

East Anglian Air Ambulance Did you know? Our life saving service is operational 365 days a year Our highly trained, specialist medical teams bring doctor-led emergency care to the incident site, bringing the emergency department to the patient We are the first in the UK to fly night time HEMS missions with almost 50 missions flown in the dark since the end of May 2013 We’ve attended over 13,000 life-saving missions across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire The majority of incidents we attend are serious road traffic collisions, people suffering cardiac arrests and horse riding, motorbike and cycling incidents We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available - take a look at our website for latest positions 08450 699 999 Registered Charity No: 1083876

Follow us on Twitter: @EastAngliAirAmb ‘Like’ our Facebook page: East Anglian Air Ambulance

Useful Telephone Numbers Councils Brandon Town Council (Town Clerk)

01842 811844

Forest Heath District Council (Main Switchboard)

01638 719000

Suffolk County Council (Public Enquiries)

0845 606 6067

Health Services Doctor - Brandon Medical Practice (High Street)

01842 810388

Doctor - Forest Group Practice (Bury Road)

01842 810206

Dentist - Apex Dental Care (Bury Road)

01842 812276

Dentist - The Dental Surgery (High Street)

01842 812381

Hospital - West Suffolk (Bury St Edmunds)

01284 713000

NHS 111 - Medical Help (Less urgent than 999)


Help & Advice Citizens Advice Bureau (Brandon Office)

01842 811511

Social Care Services (Customer First)

0808 800 4005

Suffolk Constabulary (Non Emergency)


Utility Companies Electricity - UK Power Networks (Fault Line)

08007 838 838

Gas - National Grid Gas (Emergency Number)

0800 111 999

Water - Anglian Water (24 Hour Leakline)

0800 771 881

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Code Word

Word Wheel 9 letter word: detergent


We let our numbers speak for themselves ... we sold

ÂŁ31,000 000

worth of of property in 2013. We would like you to share in our success in 2014 .

Chilterns Call Brandon 01842 813466

Brandon Town Magazine - Issue 6  

February 2014 edition of the Brandon Town Magazine

Brandon Town Magazine - Issue 6  

February 2014 edition of the Brandon Town Magazine