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In Touch

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with Bramford, Offton, Somersham & Willisham Volume 7 • Issue No. 2 • DECEMBER 2016



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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR I’ve just been informed that Auntie Sarah will be visiting Suffolk on December 3 and as it’s the perfect opportunity to get Christmas presents to that side of the family (all 11 of them) I’m now on a deadline! Thank goodness there are many, many Christmas markets and festivals coming up. They are a particularly useful place to find locally produced gifts for out-of-towners. I’m definitely focused on finding handmade gifts this year, possibly inspired by the beautiful Christmas Tree decoration I received from a close friend last year. It was one of my favourite presents and I’m secretly hoping she gives me another this year. I have been dropping heavy hints since June or thereabouts so I’m quite hopeful. There are many good reasons to shop local at Christmas, not least the fact that your spending will boost the local economy, save or indeed generate jobs, support local entrepreneurs and create a more vibrant and engaged community. There’s also the social aspect, the fact that you are more likely to find quirky, one-off items, maybe even try before you buy and get a better deal or some advice. According to a new study, UK shoppers are predicted to spend £73 billion this Christmas, with online sales accelerating to unprecedented levels. Apparently convenience, price comparison and avoiding crowds and queues are three of the main reasons why online shopping is so popular, but don’t assume than ‘online’ and ‘local’ are entirely contradictory. Most of our local retailers sell online so you can take advantage of the benefits of online shopping and support local business at the same time. For me, Christmas means cleaning the house from top to bottom (sad I know, but deeply embedded) and down ‘n’ dirty old style shopping with the crowds, the queues, the Christmas music, carol singers, hot chocolate, mince pies and a glass or two of mulled wine to soothe aching muscles. I can’t wait. On behalf of my colleagues here at Mansion House Publishing I wish you and yours a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

In Touch

with Bramford, Offton, Somersham & Willisham

Published by: Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd, 20 Wharfedale Road, Ipswich IP1 4JP Editor: Sharon Jenkins Email:

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01473 400379 Disclaimer: The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Every effort is taken to ensure that the contents of this magazine are accurate but the publisher cannot assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. While reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements or editorial, the publisher/ editor will not accept responsibility for any unsatisfactory transactions and also reserves the right to refuse to include advertising or editorial. They will, however immediately investigate any written complaints. © Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher. © In Touch with Bramford, Offton, Somersham & Willisham is published by Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd as part of the “In Touch with . . . ” series of magazines.

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NEWS COUNCILLORS SHORTLISTED FOR NATIONAL AWARDS On Tuesday, November 1, Babergh and Mid Suffolk members joined other representatives from across the UK to pay tribute to the best and most innovative councillors in the country. The councillors gathered in London for the LGiU’s Councillor Awards. This seventh annual awards scheme is the only national showcase honouring  the hard work of councillors from across the country. The winners were selected by a judging panel made up of local government experts and councillors. One Babergh member and one Mid Suffolk member were shortlisted for awards out of more than 200 submissions: Councillor Jennie Jenkins, leader of Babergh District Council and member for Leavenheath, was shortlisted for the LGiU award for Leader of the Year and Councillor Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council Portfolio Holder for Business Growth and Increased Productivity and member for Stowmarket (South), was shortlisted for the LGiU award for District Councillor of the Year. Sadly neither received the award for their category, but the evening offered a chance to meet with outstanding councillors from across the country and learn how other authorities are meeting the challenges all local government is facing. Councillor Jennie Jenkins said: “The LGiU puts us in touch with other councillors across the country and it was an honour to be shortlisted from such a vast pool of women and men working hard for their communities. A leader is only as good as their team and being on that list of seven was a testament to the dedication and talent of all the councillors and staff at Babergh who have worked so hard to keep delivering the services our communities need in a changing world.” Councillor Gerard Brewster said: “Being shortlisted for District Councillor of the Year was a great experience and I want to thank the LGiU for the work they put into the awards. This shows that we in Suffolk can lead the country in the way we deliver for our constituents and communities and I look forward to continuing to work hard, both for Stowmarket and for all of Mid Suffolk, over the coming years.”

IN TOUCH WITH . . . • Hadleigh • Stowmarket • Capel St Mary • East Bergholt, Dedham & Flatford • Needham Market, Creeting St Mary & Creeting St Peter • Sproughton & Burstall • Claydon, Barham & Henley • Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford & Brantham • Martlesham Heath & Old Martlesham • Kesgrave & Rushmere • Woodbridge & Melton • Gt. & Lt. Blakenham, Baylham & Nettlestead • Westerfield, Witnesham & Tuddenham St. Martin • Copdock, Washbrook, Belstead, Bentley & Tattingstone • Ipswich East, Broke Hall, Ravenswood & Warren Heath • Shotley, Chelmondiston, Pin Mill, Holbrook, Woolverstone & Erwarton


JANUARY DEADLINE 2 DECEMBER 2016 is the final date for both advertising and editorial copy

CHRISTMAS CRAFT & GIFT FAIR SUCCESS The Christmas Craft and Gift Fair held in the Tithe Barn, Sproughton on Saturday, November 5 raised £215.66 for Sproughton Community Shop and £800 for St Elizabeth Hospice. Sue and Zoe wish to thank everyone for their support and help.

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NEWS Raising more money We are able to buy the pub only by the skin of our teeth. Funds are still desperately needed to get the business on its feet. Buying shares is the best way you can help. Why not join the 230 great people who have already invested in this way, or increase your holding if you are one of them? At the same time as saving a precious community asset, you can benefit from 30% tax relief through the EIS scheme. Any questions, just get in touch. Keeping people informed

OFFER ACCEPTED The campaign to save our beautiful, oak-beamed local is on the verge of success. Our offer on the Duke of Marlborough has been accepted. The Duke of Marlborough is set to be the fifth community-owned pub in Suffolk, and one of approximately 50 across the country. The individual and collective effort has been awe-inspiring. It has involved 22 months of hard work following closure of the pub at Christmas 2014. Around £300,000 has been raised in share-holdings and loans: just enough to make our offer. Dr Sarah Caston (pictured below with Lucy Batchelor-Wylam), who started the campaign says: “Massive thanks to everyone who’s helped the campaign over the past two years. It has been a long haul to get to this point, but the support has been amazing, and we’re now nearly there. We really can make sure that 500 or 600 years of hospitality at the Duke don’t come to an end now.”   So what now?

The process of purchasing the pub begins. Exchange and completion have to be agreed. There’s all the conveyancing to be done. Things always take longer than expected, but we want it to happen as soon as possible, and not too far into the new year. There’s loads to do before then including:

• Raising more money • Keeping people informed • Gaining more willing hands and (free-of-charge) professional support

We will be holding a public meeting in the village hall in the near future – we will put up a sign and put a note on the website when a date is set. The meeting will include an update on the purchase, plans for managing the business short and long-term and an opportunity to share ideas. All are welcome – please spread the word.

Gaining more willing hands and (free-of-charge) professional support If you, or any of your friends, family or contacts have professional expertise that you would be willing to give, please let us know. This might include things as diverse as support with: • Buying the pub and meeting statutory obligations to get it up and running • Overseeing or providing building, decorating, garden improvement works • Researching collective-buying and service and goods providers • Setting up volunteer employment contracts • Fundraising, marketing, website • Customer services We are looking at setting up an operations/management committee: please let us know if you have relevant commercial experience and would be interested in one of the crucial roles. There must be a great team to make this thing work. And of course there are all the everyday jobs too – which are every bit as important. Just let us know what you’d like to volunteer to do. Here’s to 2017 – and an open Duke of Marlborough. James Batchelor-Wylam, chair of Save the Duke: 07789 691434

A PLEA FOR HOSPITALITY ST MARY’S CHURCH, BRAMFORD GRAND CHRISTMAS BAZAAR in the Victory Hall, Ship Lane Saturday, December 3, from 1.30pm Enjoy the Christmas Tree Festival in the church from 10am Lunches served in the Church Room, noon-2pm Enjoy a day in Bramford


A Russian friend who teaches English to adults in St Petersburg is planning to bring a group here next summer and I have the task of finding accommodation for them in local households. The dates are expected to be from around July 9/10 for two weeks. The request is for bed, breakfast, a packed lunch and an evening meal. They are coming in order to learn more about our country and culture, improve their English, and because they genuinely regard a visit to this country as ‘the trip of a lifetime’. If you think you might be able to help in any way, please contact me for more details. Thank you. The Rev Tony Wilcox, 58 Sproughton Court, Sproughton IP8 3AJ 01473 461561 /

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NEWS SEND LOCAL CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR ONLY 25p Celebrating our 30 year, Ipswich Scouts are running their Christmas Post collection and delivery service. We collect and deliver cards to all IP1-IP5 areas as well as Westerfield, Tuddenham, Henley, Witnesham, Rushmere, Kesgrave, Martlesham, Pinewood, Grundisburgh, Gt & Lt Bealings, Playford, Claydon, Gt and Little Blakenham, Bramford and Sproughton. This year we are also including delivery to Felixstowe, The Trimleys and Kirton. th

Cards cost 25p each and will be collected between November 25 and December 8 for delivery before Christmas. All proceeds go to the groups involved. The local collection points are: • Changed collection point: CO-OP, Bramford • Sproughton Community Shop • Somersham Community Shop Cards and correct payment should be put in a sealed bag and dropped off at one of the above collection points.

BRAMFORD CHURCH CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL St Mary’s Church will be open from 11am on Saturday, December 3 for visits to view the trees in their full glory. Children, adults and local businesses have taken time to decorate this beautiful church. Entry will be free, but if you would like to make a donation of £2 it will be used for the up-keep of the church.

SUFFOLK ENERGY-FROM-WASTE Suffolk staff crowned operational team of the year

Rhona Clement, 4th Ipswich Scout Leader

CHERNOBYL CHILDREN’S LIFE LINE We now have confirmation that there will be a group of seven children and one interpreter travelling to Mid Suffolk in December. The girls are aged 11 to 14 with one 12-year-old having her birthday on December 19. We will of course have a birthday party for her which in itself will be an amazing experience as the children do not have birthday parties as our children do. Usually they will receive a small gift, possibly just some sweets or a few rubles to spend, and there might be a small family gathering. As previously requested in our articles, any good quality second-hand clothing for these girls would be greatly appreciated as they will only have the clothing they have travelled in when they arrive. Our Facebook page has now been revamped so please do visit and Like us. We will endeavor to keep it up-to-date with news and photographs. We also have a page dedicated to our charity shop where we regularly receive new donations and stock is frequently rotated so the shop is well worth a visit, as is our Facebook page where new items of interest will be highlighted: The charity continues to enjoy your support and for that we are extremely grateful. Please remember, if you are having a clear out before Christmas, all those unwanted gifts you have put away and don’t know what to do with make fantastic raffle prizes for our fundraising. If you are interested in sending a Christmas present/shoebox to a Chernobyl child, please do get in touch. Each year we provide details of a child who would love to hear from someone in the UK as to receive even a letter is very unusual and appreciated, but a present is something really special. Finally, if you would like to consider becoming a host for our 2017 summer group, please do get in touch as although it might seem a long way off preparations are already under way. Anyone can apply regardless of status or financial circumstances. We operate a day centre Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm, so hosts can follow their own occupation or other interests and the children live with the hosts as part of their family at all other times. With grateful thanks as always to everyone for their continued support. Elizabeth Parker 01449 760343/ 6

The Suffolk energy-from-waste facility has won two more national awards – one for the building and the other for the team running it – and is in line for a third. The Peel People’s Cup is awarded by the CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) to the best operating team of the year. It is recognition that a successful waste operation is heavily dependent on its staff – the people at the sharp end who play such a critical role in the success of the operation. Plant manager Paul Leighton said: “We have won a number of awards for different aspects of this project, from its design and construction to its many environmental features, which help make it one of the greenest buildings in the country. But a fantastic building is nothing without a great team to run it. In our first year of operation we met or exceeded all of our targets, and that’s down to the great staff we have here. I am delighted this superb team effort has been recognised with this national award.” Last month the site, which was designed by Grimshaw,  won the top prize for sustainability in the Blueprint Awards 2016, which celebrate the very best in world architecture and design. The site was one of eight short-listed, including the Theatre Royal in York, the refurbishment of a building at the University of Brighton and projects in Malaysia, Denmark and Australia. It is also a regional finalist in this year’s Civic Trust Awards, which recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment. A total of 16 buildings from the eastern region are included in the regional finalists list including two colleges in Cambridge and a hospital in Welwyn Hatfield.  All regional finalists go through to the national/international competition, with winners being announced on December 15. USEFUL NUMBERS Site offices: 01473 839149 To book a visit: 01473 836812 Environment Agency: 0800 807060 In Touch online:


Cloudy2Clear Announce Trusted Trader Partnership Consumer champions Which? have now joined the thousands of customers who recognise that Cloudy2Clear Windows really are a business that you can TRUST. The company which specialises in repairing windows which are steamed up, broken or damaged by replacing the panes – not the frames has received the coveted ‘Which Trusted Trader’ status after going through a rigorous accreditation process entirely focussed on customer service.

Group Managing Director Marcus McGee believes that Which? have endorsed Cloudy2Clear’s long standing company policy of delivering the highest standards possible at all times. ‘Our service is simple. If your double glazing has misted up we can replace the glass at a fraction of the cost of a new window, in any type of frame, and with a new 25 year guarantee. But it’s not just about saving people money, although that obviously helps. Whilst a number

of tradespeople perhaps don’t focus on customer care as much as they should do, we make sure we turn up when we say we will, do the job the customer requires and leave their house as clean as a whistle. Locally Cloudy2Clear service the Ipswich, Woodbridge, Manningtree, Hadleigh, Stowmarket & surrounding areas and manager Andy Kerridge agrees that this approach is a major factor in his success. ‘The truth is that it’s not just the personal satisfaction that I get from doing

a good job but also it makes good business sense. I get a huge amount of business from friends and family of people I’ve done work for, which just goes to show how much a little bit of effort is appreciated as both my customers and, obviously a body as nationally important as Which? now recognise.’ So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Andy a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118 and he’ll be happy to help!

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NEWS SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM As we look forward to Christmas 2016 and the New Year 2017, I have a few wise words which I hope you will take the time to read.

OUR 2017 VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME Are you a resident of Bramford or the surrounding area? Are you looking to keep active, perhaps maintain a wider social network, or wanting to get outdoors a bit more than usual? We may have something for you that could help. Meadow Rangers Observing any wildlife, noting repairs needed and talking about possible improvements to the meadows. We expect to have regular walks across the year, meeting in the south meadow car park at 10.30am. The itinerary is a gentle stroll down to Hazel Woods along the railway side footpath before returning along the river footpath. Then there is the option to continue over to the north meadow or to return to the car park. The north meadow walk is via the river path to Bushmans Bridge, then returning across the meadow. The north meadow is a designated flood plain so may be too wet under foot to return across the field in which case we will use the river footpath. Fixing Team Carrying out repairs, tree and shrub maintenance, and miscellaneous tasks. For 2017 we want to create a list of available members and friends for various activities. Noting general preferences such as ‘best time’ and abilities, we want to build up a list of fixing teams to undertake small repair tasks, typically two or three times a year. We don’t use power tools or work on the water. Major tasks such as grass cutting across the picnic area and lumber jacking are contracted out. Thanks to the support of SUEZ Trust, we have a volunteer toolkit, gloves and safety specs available for use so please do not feel that you are excluded if you do not have your own tools. Management Committee Helping the charity run efficiently and for the benefit of both local residents and visitors from around the UK and further. The committee meets every four to eight weeks on average. They work with the trustees to check that we are doing what we were set up to do. As well as reacting to feedback, the committee is forward looking and seeks out opportunities to improve the meadows in an environmentally sound way. If any of the above volunteer roles appeal to you or you simply want to be kept informed via our quarterly newsletter, please get in touch or join us. You can join online at: Alternatively email or write to us at The Parish Rooms, Ship Lane, Bramford IP8 4AN.

SUFFOLK DEMENTIA HELPLINE 01473 353350 We are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The helpline can provide a listening ear as well as information and signposting to services that can help. The Suffolk Dementia Helpline can support anyone who needs to talk. Perhaps you have memory worries yourself or even a recent diagnosis and want someone to talk to. Maybe you have concerns about a loved one, or need support in your caring role. Perhaps it’s just information you are after, or a confidential chat with someone. The line can help anyone who is looking for practical support and is able to provide you with local information and get you in touch with organisations that can help. 8

We all know how stressful and expensive Christmas shopping is and that children and friends look forward to receiving gifts from us. Don’t let theirs and your Christmas be ruined by opportunist thieves who stumble across open doors and windows, cars or sheds, to find neatly wrapped Christmas presents. If you go out make sure your house is secure, lights have been left on and valuables are out of sight. Cars on driveways should be locked and any valuables put in the boot. Why make it easy for someone else to enjoy your hard work and money? Use timer switches at home to give the impression of someone being in now that the nights are darker sooner. Try not to leave presents wrapped and visible from a window. The less incentive there is, the lower the risk you have of a break in to your property. If you are considering making expensive electrical purchases, consider marking them with a security pen and photographing their serial numbers for your records. is a free property registration service and a very powerful tool in the fight against crime. We would encourage you to register your valuable and identifiable possessions on this website. Please remember to include make, model and serial numbers where possible. It may be this winter that we experience snow flurries as well as ice cold temperatures. Make sure that you are prepared for this if using your car on the roads. Make sure your fluids are topped up, think about a blanket or warm clothes in the boot in case you get caught in a road closure. It is also worth having your tyres checked by a garage to ensure they are legal and safe to use on the roads. Decent tyres can be lifesavers, and bad ones could cost you your licence. Many people get caught out by sudden changes in road conditions; be prepared to drive slower and plan well ahead for your journey. Suffolk Police will again be taking a zero tolerance approach to alcohol fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour this Christmas. Please drink sensibly when out, have designated drivers; you will not want to be the person who is arrested on Christmas Eve and has to spend the following day in police custody. Remember you can now follow the Safer Neighbourhood Team at Hadleigh on Twitter @HadleighPolice. Finally, from all officers and staff at Hadleigh Police Station we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year. Until next month, PCSO 3173 Julia Bignell, Hadleigh SNT, Magdalen Road, Hadleigh IP7 5AD Email: For emergency calls 999 / non-emergency calls 101

Christmas at Ellisons

We are closed from 5.30pm on Friday 23rd December 2016 until

Monday 2nd January 2017 We re-open on Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at 9am Ipswich Office Appointments at your convenience 01473 556 900 Wherstead Park, The Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP9 2BJ Ellisons Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA Number 49336

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Carol Concerts Free Admission

Wednesday 7th December 2016 7.30pm, The John Peel Centre Stowmarket Led by

Paul Bowen Featuring Co-op Singers

Thursday 8th December 2016 7pm, Ipswich Town Football Club The Sir Bobby Robson Suite, Portman Road, Ipswich

For over a decade, the East of England Co-op Funeral Services have brought people together at Christmas to celebrate and remember the lives of those close to them, who are no longer with us. This December, they will be hosting a number of carol concerts across the region, as well as collecting messages and memories to place on special ‘Trees to Remember’ at their funeral branches, raising money for local hospices. Andrew Dawes, Head of the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, said: “Having been supporting generations of local families for over 90 years, we understand that Christmas can be particularly difficult for those who have lost someone dear to them. “Tree to Remember is an important part of the ongoing support services we offer bereaved families in the local community. Our trees have collected thousands of memories of those who left a special mark on our lives. This Christmas we invite you to share your own message or memory, and look forward to welcoming you to one of our carol concerts or services.” The very first East of England Co-op funeral branch opened back in 1925 and there are now around 50 branches across the region. As a local, independent business they only operate in the Eastern region and are owned directly by their members.

Led by

Because they are the local Co-op, they work hard to support the community by helping local groups and initiatives as well as partnering with good causes and charities.

Join us to remember loved ones this Christmas To book your place call Stowmarket 01449 612765 Ipswich 01473 257242

This Christmas the East of England Co-op will be hosting carol concerts on Wednesday 7th December at 7.30pm at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket and Thursday 8th December at 7pm at the Bobby Robson suite at Ipswich Town Football Club. All are welcome to attend, with performances from the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op Band, Love to Sing Community Choir and the Co-op Singers.

Tina Hayward Featuring Love to Sing Community Choir Ipswich & Norwich Co-op Band



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COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT JOHN FIELD’S REPORT TO GIPPING VALLEY: NOVEMBER 2016 Early Years Education I have been discussing the plans to expand the pre-schools in Gipping Valley with county officers. They need to cope with increased housing and the move from 15 to 30 hours of governmentfunded attendance that some families will receive. There are funds available from new developments. There is a clear need for a pre-school in Great Blakenham and we are exploring solutions that will provide both the indoor and the outdoor space required at the high standard expected. The officer who organises this area has an excellent grasp of the requirements and will ensure that there are no problems. Primary Schools Claydon Primary School still has places in some years despite attracting a number of out of catchment pupils. However, Bramford and Henley are currently both full. As house building progresses the schools must expand. Claydon will need to increase to at least two and a half form entry and probably to three if the Barham Church Lane development goes ahead. Sketch plans exist and will be shared with residents as soon as architects have put some flesh on the bones. Scrutiny: Highways The cabinet has extended the highways contract for five years so that Kier are able to plan investments for efficiency over a longer period. The alternative of taking the contract back in-house would result in a long and expensive process. If performance does not meet the county’s need, an annual review process will reduce the contract term. We will cover these issues at scrutiny but unfortunately, the most critical individual for the November 3 meeting fell sick at the last moment and we will now meet on December 20. County Budget for 2017-18 On November 30, we will scrutinise the county’s budget proposals. By then the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will be just a few days old and there will be initial views on its likely effect. Just to what extent the government will back off austerity to stop the fall in GDP post-Brexit we do not yet know. With Trump in the White House, the global economy too will be in for some shocks, but they won’t emerge for months. I find that it is easy to see the sums budgeted for inflation and demographic change, government funding reductions and the savings required to keep the books balanced. It is much more difficult to see where estimates of income are unduly pessimistic and where reserves are kept for activities that will never occur. It is even more difficult to obtain any measure of the effect on people who need county services. For roads, just how much pothole filling, yellow lining, speed signage or mini-roundabout construction will be delivered? For the

vulnerable, what quantity and quality of care does the budget aim to provide? Is it sufficient to meet the need? Devolution Norfolk County Council remains in favour of devolution, provided there is not a mayor. That removes some uncertainty, but the government are adamant a mayor is not negotiable. Clearly, devolution gives us the right to do as we are told. Suffolk will make its final decision on November 23. Roads There is progress on the flooding issue at the Pest House Lane road junction in Barham where work is due to start. As I reported before, there is now a highways budget specifically earmarked for flooding issues and this is the first impact it has had in Gipping Valley. Chris Nix of Easton and Otley College is adamant that in September, he changed the routes of the buses that are a problem to Henley and Barham. We had agreed they would change when the contract changed. However, I did meet an Otley bus by the nursing home on the way to the meeting. I have asked for route details. SnOasis The developer has now paid the £250k planning fee as well as the sums for work by an MSDC officer and SCC Fire Officer. The next step is to validate the considerable input and determine if it meets the requirements to move ahead. I understand that final plans for the railway station will not be forthcoming. This was a critical component of the Secretary of State’s approval and the lack of a station would have a significant impact on the road traffic generated. We must not overlook this. District council issues Mid Suffolk and Babergh have appointed a new chief executive. He is a trained barrister and has been working in Suffolk Coastal. His start date is not yet determined so it will be a while before we know or feel the impact of the change. Move to Endeavour House We ‘twin hatters’ will be taking district councillors on a tour of county headquarters to give them a feel of the place. People are likely to be located in areas vacated by Concertus and Schools Choice who are moving to a building next to Landmark House recently purchased by the county. Car parking issues are yet to be resolved. Hood Drive District and county officers have agreed to take out some of the shrub beds on the left hand side of the road as you enter into Hood Drive. These shrub beds, that were blocking drivers’ sightlines, are SCC owned but maintained by MSDC. If you have queries please contact me: / 01473 831306


NEWS/OUT & ABOUT SOMERSHAM AND DISTRICT COMMUNITY SHOP CLAYDON & BARHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE Church Lane, Claydon IP6 0EG Saturday, December 24: Young Ones Christmas Disco, 5-9pm Father Christmas will visit at 7pm. Music supplied by Dan the Man. Saturday, December 31: The Preservatives A great musical band specialising in dancing music. The centre is going to shake, rattle and roll. Doors open at 7pm with the band from 9pm-late/early. Members £12.50, children £7.50. Community Café The Community Café is open in the hall from 8am-4pm, Monday to Saturday (closing times vary due to other activities using the facility). Serving teas and real coffee, delicious cakes and savoury treats. Special afternoon teas at an attractive £7.50. We have a wide and varied range of draft and bottled ales, ciders and lagers. Guinness and mild are also available and our premium larger, San Miguel, is now on tap. / 01473 831805 Facebook: Claydon Community Centre



Supporting our children’s educatio n

A COMMUNITY SHOP FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY, RUN BY THE LOCAL COMMUNITY The Playing Field, Princes Gardens, Somersham / 01473 833416 OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm Saturdays: 8am-1pm Christmas goods are now on the shelves and orders can be taken for special bread, cakes, meat and many other products that you may require. All our fresh product suppliers can supply far more items than we can stock and we are in the process of producing price lists for as many of the fresh produce suppliers as we can. We have started with our new meat supplier, Palfrey & Hall, who can supply an enormous and varied range of meat. Cakes can also be ordered from our local bakers. So do have a look and speak to our staff who will be delighted to help you. Our range of locally brewed beers and a selection of wines are always available and can be ordered if required. It’s probably sensible to stock up on a range of everyday household goods and products as we never know what the weather will throw at us through winter. It’s always good to have a few things in the storecupboard in case bad weather catches up with us. Also, a valuable point is that if the roads become impassable and a trip to town is impossible, our very local shop with its fantastic staff of local volunteers will very likely be a bright beacon in a dull situation, a good time to make the most of our local facilities. We don’t have our tea and chat afternoon in December, but you can still come along with friends, or by yourself, to enjoy a cup of tea and piece of cake in our Coffee Corner. It’s warm and cosy and with our book exchange close by it’s a good opportunity to choose some light reading to while away the dark evenings. The Petrolheads will be meeting up on the first Wednesday of the month from 2-4pm so do come along if you are interested in all things motor-led. Also, if you are taking a walk around our lovely footpaths, the Coffee Corner is a good point at which to finish with a warming drink. Plastic bags are becoming fewer now, a good thing for the environment, but we still promote reuse and recycling of these bags and use them in the shop. If you have any that you don’t want, please bring them along and we can make good use of them. CHRISTMAS OPENING Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve: 8am-1pm Sunday 25, Monday 26, Tuesday 27: Closed Wednesday 28, Thursday 29, Friday 30: 8am-6pm Saturday 31 – New Year’s Eve: 8am-1pm Sunday 1, Monday 2 – bank holiday: Closed We wish all our volunteers and customers Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to seeing everybody in 2017 and to another successful year ahead for our very own local shop. Management Team Lucy Barrett – 831890; Terry Fordham – 831529; Jenny Hitchcock – 832060; Peter Jousiffe – 833577; Anne MacFadyen – 831288; Steve Woolhouse – 831080


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OUT & ABOUT GOLDIE LOCKS AND SOME OTHER GUYS The weeks have flown by since rehearsals for Bar-Clay Music Makers new panto began in September and tickets will be on sale from December 7. Performances take place on Fridays, January 20 and 27 at 7.30pm, and on Saturdays 21 and 28 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets (adults £7, children £3) always sell out fast, so contact Gillian Webb to book your seats: / 01473 830538 Prepare for plenty of action as  Goldie, jewel thief extraordinaire, is pursued by three bears, Wolfie (aka The Big Bad Wolf) and Prince Rupert while looking for any opportunity to steal some swag. Will the three bears get any dinner? Will Wolfie catch his thief? Can Prince Rupert be persuaded to kiss the mostly dead Snow White and what’s going to happen to her diamond coffin? There’s only one way to find out... For more details about BMM contact Vera Rogers:







Church Lane




Wild Man




St Mary’s Close




Paper Mill Lane



Great Blakenham, Chequers



Great Blakenham, Blue Leighs Mobile Home Park,




Post Box








Edinburgh Gardens 2.05-2.20pm



Bacon Road




Packard Place


DATES: December 20, January 17


Written by Molly Hazelwood Directed by Marina Griggs

Sponsored By


Spend an evening with novelist Janet Davey who will be appearing at Ipswich Institute (15 Tavern Street, IP1 3AA) on Wednesday, December 9 as part of Suffolk Book League’s 2016 programme of events. Janet’s first novel, English Correspondence, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, and her latest, Another Mother’s Son, considers the challenges of modern day parenthood in close detail and has been described as “a mesmerizing take on a mother’s dread of the empty nest”. Doors open at 7pm with the event starting at 7.30pm. Entrance is £4 for members of Suffolk Book League and £8 for non-members. Students are free on production of a valid student card. Tickets can be paid for on the door or if you want to book in advance please email: Suffolk Book League, a quite unique organisation, provides what is essentially a year-long literary festival. For further information visit:

All the girls wore yellow, her favourite colour. It’s the little things that make a funeral special

Anglia Ltd Tel: 01473 216462

5th Jan 7:30pm 6th Jan 7:30pm 7th Jan 2:30pm 7th Jan 7:30pm Bar Open Refreshments Ice Creams Candy Floss Raffle

TICKET PRICES Adults £8.00 Concessions £5.00 Family of 4 £20.00 HOW TO BOOK TICKETS

Here for you every hour of every day

01473 232837

for your local funeral director Telephone Bookings: 07803 796706



ST MICHAEL’S MONTHLY MARKET The next monthly market at St Michael’s, The Church on the Park, Woolverstone is on Saturday, December 10, 9am-12.30pm. Fruit, vegetables, cakes, bread, meat and an interesting range of handcrafted items which helps present buying. Enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, mulled wine and mince pies. East End Butchers are pleased to be the market’s resident meat supplier. If you would like to place on order with them it can be collected at the market each month. Their number for orders is 01206 392190. Come along to mingle with your friends, have a cup of coffee and a bacon buttie and enjoy the lovely venue. New stalls welcome. Contact Jane Gould: 01473 780777

HADLEIGH COMMUNITY CHOIR’S WINTER CONCERT 2016 Hadleigh Community Choir will present its annual winter concert at 7.30pm on Saturday, December 3 in Hadleigh United Reformed Church, Market Place, Hadleigh. Tickets are now on sale (£8 each, children under 12 free) from Keith Avis Newsagents and The Idler bookshop in Hadleigh High Street. The choir will be singing a mix of songs and carols with additional performances by choir soloists. We will again be inviting our audience to join in a Christmas carol sing-along; words will be included in the programmes. After the concert everybody is welcome to the ‘afterglow’ in the Ansell Room with wine, soft drinks and festive fare, all included in the ticket price.  There will also be an opportunity to enter our now famous and popular prize gift draw. A proportion of profits will be shared between The Christmas Present Trust and Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information call Josie or Nik: 01473 824462  

IPSWICH & DISTRICT ANIMAL WELFARE With thanks to everyone who donated items to the charity this year. The shop is a good fundraiser for the charity that helps animals and their owners in need. It is open from 10am-noon on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 181 Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich IP4 5DA / 01473 727496. Also thank you for the various other items. I collect old mobile phones, ink cartridges, used postage stamps and buttons for other charities. Donations can be left at 5 Chapel Lane, Somersham or I am happy to collect (01473 830068). Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year  Heather Dickinson 16

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Do you have a desire to make a difference? Care your way to a career If you think a career in care may be for you, a family member or a friend, please email to receive an information pack and find out how to apply for jobs across the county and in your area.



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Monday, December 5: This is the Guild’s Christmas meal which is being held at the Blakenham Chequers. If you have any queries about times and lifts please check with Mrs Pat Caddick.

Unfortunately, last month’s report did not appear in the Sproughton and Burstall edition of In Touch due to a rare error by the editor, for which her apology was gladly accepted.

A very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to all our members and readers of this magazine.

The mystery outing on October 12 again had problems. There were too many calls picking up passengers, taking over two hours to reach Felixstowe, where the driver had to take a two-hour rest to avoid exceeding his driving limit before proceeding to Southwold. True, there was a diversion on the return journey, but the coach didn’t reach Bramford until 6.45pm, one and three-quarters of an hour behind schedule. If similar trips are planned for next year the club will hire a small coach, picking up only club passengers or their guests.

BRAMFORD COMPUTER CLUB Organised by the Methodist Church as a non-profit, community activity, we aim to help anybody, expert or beginner, to maximise the use of their computer. Bring your laptop or use our machines. Broadband and refreshments available. The club will meet until December 12 (Monday group 7.30-9pm) and 14 (Wednesday group 10.30am-noon) and restart on January 9 and 11. Membership for the school year is £1 and £2 a session.

BRAMFORD WI Our next meeting is on December 12 at The Loraine Victory Hall. This will be our Christmas Party so you can dress all bright and cheery. We will start at 7pm so that we have plenty of time for our meal and entertainment. Please remember to bring a plate, cutlery and any special drink. There is a Christmas Bazaar at The Loraine Victory Hall on Saturday, December 3 from 1.30-4pm.

The final outing of 2016 is to see Christmas Matinee Nostalgia at The Corn Exchange at 2.30pm on Monday, December 12. Transport by shared taxi has been arranged for the eight members and three paying guests attending. Twelve members have taken up the option of lunch at Sproughton Wild Man at 12.30pm on the same day as an alternative. The last club meeting of 2016 will be held on Wednesday, December 21. Members are requested to bring a plate of sandwiches or nibbles and to wear a party hat. I will supply the sherry, soft drinks and music. The first club meeting of 2017 will be held at the church hall on January 4 at 2pm. The annual New Year’s Lunch will be held on Wednesday, January 18 at noon. The venue and any further details will be announced at the club when known and also published in the January edition of In Touch. A normal club meeting will take place after lunch. Members are requested to save used postage stamps for charity and pass them to Betty Game. Please leave a margin around each stamp. The committee and members of Sproughton Senior Citizens’ Club wish all readers a happy and warm Christmas. John Bates

BRAMFORD LOCAL HISTORY GROUP December sees our usual Christmas social, but this time at Sproughton Wild Man, a new venue for our group. The meal will be on Thursday, December 15, 7pm for a 7.30 start. We look forward to seeing you then. We will also be having a stall at the Christmas Bazaar on December 3 and a decorated tree in the church.

GREAT BLAKENHAM OVER FIFTIES CLUB Great Blakenham Over 50s Club is open to anyone of that age living not just in Great Blakenham but anywhere in the surrounding area. We meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the Parish Room on Stowmarket Road, Great Blakenham from 2-4pm.  The cost per meeting is £1.50 which includes whatever activity is programmed for the afternoon, refreshments and a raffle.  On afternoons when we may play a couple of games of bingo the tickets are £1 each. Members take it in turns to make the tea.

BRAMFORD CRAFT AND CHATTER GROUP We will only be having one morning session this month as a second would be too close to Christmas. We will be meet in the Parish Room as usual from 9.30am-noon and then move on to the Bramford Cock where we will have a group lunch. Look out for our stall at the Christmas Bazaar on December 3 where we will be selling hand-made gifts and also our Christmas Tree at the Christmas Tree Festival in the church.

The Parish Room is the building with a green door more or less opposite the Chequers Public House. It has its own parking area, is fully accessible for anyone in a wheelchair and has disabled facilities within. In October Bert Leech gave us an interesting talk about his life and at our second meeting we had a Beetle Drive, something many members hadn’t done for a long time and which proved to be most enjoyable, coupled with little prizes for the winning beetle in each round. Our programme up to Christmas December 7: Christmas Meal at The Chequers December 14: Christmas Tea Party New members are welcome, but if you would just like to come along and see what goes on we will be pleased to see you. Jackie Durrant, 01449 672690


OUT & ABOUT/SCHOOLS BRAMFORD PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP The end of the autumn term is always a very busy time of year at the playgroup.


During November the children took part in Children in Need. After a morning of cooking we held a bake sale, giving parents an opportunity to purchase our wonderful cookies. We also had a ‘Spotty’ day, when we all came to school in our best spotty outfits and brought our teddies along to join in the fun.

Our newly formed WI has had a busy autumn with our display at Somersham Pumpkin Festival taking centre stage in the local press. We even managed to sneak some homemade pumpkin and ginger jam into our display. Our homemade produce and crafts will be on sale at the Christmas Bazaar too. We have a Christmas Party for our December meeting where our members will celebrate our first Christmas with a buffet and games. We will be making handmade cards for Valentine’s Day at our January meeting with help from Sandra Burgess, a local card maker. Our 2017 programme is taking shape, so if you are interested in joining, why not come as a guest for just £3 to try it out? We meet at 7.30pm in the village hall. There are posters and leaflets in the community shop and on our noticeboard in the village hall, or for more information visit or follow us on Twitter: @somersham_wi

ST MARY’S CHURCH GATHERING Every third Tuesday in the month, 2.30-4pm, in the Church Room. Do come and join us; we will be very pleased to see you. If transport is required please contact Janet: 741331

We have lots happening in December too. We will have two performances of our nativity as well as carols and mince pies for grandparents to enjoy. The term is finished off with our Christmas party, where we hope to have a visit from the man himself. If you are interested in your child joining us, or would just like some more information about the playgroup, please contact us: 01473 740782 / Please also remember that our tots’ session is open to all children under school age. It takes place at the primary school from 1.45-3.15pm on Thursday afternoons (term time only). November 24: Christmas Decorations December 1: Pine Cone Decorations December 8: Christmas Cards Watch the children play while you have a cuppa and a chat. Just £1 a child, 50p for each subsequent child, including a drink and snack for parent/carer and tot. The staff and committee would like to thank all parents, grandparents and friends of the pre-school for their support throughout the year and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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    

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             

CLAYDON PRE-SCHOOL The children are all getting into the festive spirit with lots of activities going on. They are enjoying lots of Christmas themed activities as well as practising their singing and talking for their Christmas Nativity. They are all getting really excited for December 25 and looking forward to a well-earned break. Our Christmas Nativity is taking place on Wednesday, December 7 and the children will be able to have lots of fun at their Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 16 from 4-6pm.   A big thank you to everyone who supported our Christmas Fayre on Saturday, November 12; a great time was had by all. Also, a big thank you to everyone who helped organise such a great event. The pre-school is open Monday to Friday from 9am-3.30pm during term time.  Children can start from the age of two until they go to Reception.  Session fees are £9.60 and we offer a lunchclub (noon-12.30pm) for £1.60. We are happy to accept childcare vouchers and we offer two-year funded places for any eligible children.  We also run a holiday club in the Easter and summer holidays for two to eight year olds. For further information contact the administrator, Lisa Read: 01473 831648 /


In Touch online:

SCHOOLS CLAYDON HIGH SCHOOL Our annual WOW Week took place at the end of October and was very rewarding for all year groups. Year 7 had a fabulous time at camp, taking part in adventurous activities such as the high ropes and assault course as well as art, science and drama activities, all designed to build confidence and encourage creativity, curiosity and teamwork. Years 8-10 impressed us all with their talent, fresh ideas and commitment to their film based enterprise tournament. In teams of 15, students planned, produced and pitched a film trailer of their choosing. Guest judges and experts in the film industry were invited in to support the event and choose an overall winner of the prestigious WOW Week Cup. Students had to assign themselves roles and were scored on innovation and vision, teamwork, quality of approach to the task and their results. I would like to thank the University of Suffolk, Suffolk New College, Dan Theophani, Camera on Films and local filmmakers Sam Travis and Ana Garcia Rico whose support was vital in helping this event to be the success it was. Year 11 demonstrated great maturity and focus, impressing our business guests and the outside agencies they visited during WOW Week, preparing them for the next step of their education/ training. They spent a day at a college/sixth form of their choice, a day at the Suffolk Skills Show at Trinity Park and a day in school listening to talks from guest speakers and completing application forms and CVs in preparation for a Learning about Work Day on Wednesday, December 14. Well done to everyone for their positivity and hard work over the three days. I am pleased that Claydon High School can develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning and I hope to be able to provide more stimulating experiences beyond the classroom that engage, excite and challenge students. Now that the dark nights are upon us and we are moving swiftly into the festive season, I hope you will be able to join us at our Christmas concert, A Very Merry Christmas, on Tuesday, December 13 at 7pm (tickets on sale at our reception). Our talented students are busy preparing some wonderful vocal and instrumental pieces for your enjoyment. The PTA is also holding a quiz night on Thursday, December 8, 7-9pm. For more details, please email Rebecca:

HENLEY PRE-SCHOOL Wow, what a busy term we have had; increasing our opening hours, taking on new members of staff, along with the children discovering our new numbers corner, learning about shapes and colours and developing new motors skills by learning to write and use knives and forks. In November we had a Stay and Play week with parents coming into session to look through their children’s learning journals and meet with their key person. It was also a great opportunity for parents to have some great one-to-one playtime with their children. We had a fantastic response and a busy week. It also made for great entertainment for the other children with new adults to play with and talk to. The children are currently busy learning songs for their Christmas carol concert coming up at the end of term. Parents will be invited to come and hear the children sing, with refreshments and mince pies on offer to get us in the Christmas spirit. We are also taking a stall at Henley Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 3 in Henley Community Centre. Come and find us to purchase your reindeer food, edible Olafs or simply test your handeye co-ordination and speed skills with our marbles game. There are more than 30 stalls this year, so as well as supporting the pre-school you may even get ahead with some Christmas present buying. We are a small rural pre-school situated in the light and airy Boughton Room within Henley Community Centre which is less than a ten minute drive from Great Blakenham and Claydon. There is a large car park on site making drop off and collection a safer and easier experience. We have grant funded and paid sessions available for two to five year olds. Lunch club is also available (noon-1pm). You don’t need to live in the Henley School catchment area to come and play with us – we have children from Ipswich, Claydon, Great Blakenham and Needham Market and other surrounding areas. If you would like to join in the fun, please ring 01473 833848 during session time any weekday morning or afternoon before 3pm. Out of hours, or if you wish to leave us a message, please ring the pre-school mobile: 07979 468467 Have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year, Bridget and the team

GCSE Drama students are busy rehearsing for their Christmas panto which will tour to local residential care homes, French students are looking forward to visiting the Christmas Markets in Lille (despite the 3.15am start) and the whole school is currently busy creating fabulous Christmas hampers which will be donated to a local charity for the homeless. If you would like to visit the school and see us in action, please come along to one of our open mornings. The next one is on Wednesday, January 18. Please telephone my PA, Mrs J Pedersen, to book a place: 01473 836110 Finally, I would like to thank staff, parents, carers, governors and the wider community for their support this term and wish everyone a Happy Christmas. I look forward to keeping you updated with all our news in the New Year. Headteacher Sarah Skinner


SPORT BRAMFORD TENNIS CLUB Greetings guff lovers, At this time of year the only dummy with an unruly mop of hair is usually sitting on top of a bonfire. In the USA they have just put him in the White House. Be very afraid! Just as all the Halloween fuss has died down it seems that the Canaries are getting in seasonal mood by producing some gruesome performances of their own. Indeed the back four and goalkeeper have been moving at the same speed as The Walking Dead. I have been getting in the swing of things by winning the best costume prize at a recent Halloween evening. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I wasn’t in costume and was only popping in to give my wife a lift home! In the winter league, Nick and Graham have been scaring us all by winning their opening games (until Nick’s over enthusiastic Halloween celebrations resulted in a defeat the morning after the night before). Any more performances like this and the drug testing authorities

CLAYDON FC New pitch opened After many months of hard work by the volunteer team, we opened our new Under 7’s and Under 8’s pitch at Blue Circle on Saturday, October 29. Councillors John Whitehead and James Caston took the first kick-off before a number of superb games from the Under 8 squad after which the Under 7s took to the pitch to show their skills.

are likely to get involved to check if their opponents have been administered sleeping tablets in their water bottles, a ploy I have used successfully in the past! If they can maintain this form there is a ghost of a chance that they could win promotion. The men’s floodlit team have been a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, winning one and losing one of their games to date, although the spectre of the worsening weather looms threateningly. No news to report from our other pairs so I shall take pity on you all and go to the joke of the month. A man in a supermarket approached a glamorous looking young woman and asked her if she would mind talking to him for a couple of minutes. Feeling a little uncomfortable, she asked him why. He replied that he had lost his wife somewhere in the store and that usually if he talks to a lovely looking woman she will turn up after a minute or so. More guff next month, Mick Russ

allowed us to host post match food at the club and make the game day experience even better. The space will also allow for the junior teams to host awards days and other communal activities. A huge thank you to the Suez Community Trust for the grant for this work which has seen the building transformed and will provide a fantastic environment for all club members. Summary of Senior Section match notes from roving reporter KK League Div 1, September 24 v Old Newton We showed glimpses of what we are capable of and the tempo of the game changed when we introduced Driver. Within five minutes Blackman scored a diving header making it 1-0 at HT. We pushed on with Kirby scoring making it a final score of 2-0.  Junior Cup First Round, October 1 v Barham Athletic There are lots of connections between the two clubs and there was a large vocal crowd in attendance, but as a consequence of the game we found ourselves £120 worse off following a number of bookings and sending off. The 10 remaining lads on the pitch were a huge credit to the club, but we lost in extra time 1-2. League Div 1, October 8 v Benhall This was a tough game and after initially going 2-0 up we ended sharing the points with a 2-2 draw. 

Under 8 team with Councillors John Whitehead and James Caston and Claydon FC chairman Tim Carr (centre) Claydon FC would like to thank Claydon and Whitton Parish Council for the initial grant for this work, those who attended the summer training camp which raised funds, Will at Parker Pitches for his hard work and, of course, the many volunteers at the club who raked dirt, removed stones and pulled weeds. This is another huge step forward in our facilities at Blue Circle. Clubhouse opening The revamped and revitalised Claydon FC clubhouse was formally opened on October 29 and the phase one facilities were put to their first use at the senior game in the afternoon. A newly refurbished common area and kitchen have 22

Reserves, October 8 v Felixstowe Rangers Primary Cup Brillo’s young side performed very well, however run out 2-0 losers. League Div 1, October 15 v Hoxne Another very tough match against table toppers Hoxne saw us weather an early storm to win 3-2, gratefully taking all three points. Reserves v Benhall Res, October 15 Our Reserves went down 2-1 to Benhall with young Aidan Brame breaking his arm and the Benhall keeper breaking his collar bone. We wish both a speedy recovery. League Div 1, October 22 v Trimley Missing some key players, we still managed to name a half decent starting 11. It became clear early on that we were dominant and went in at half-time 3-1. Rudge fired in second and our fourth in the second half for us to take the points with a 4-2 victory. In Touch online:

SPORT / ON THE GRAPEVINE DR DAN POULTER, YOUR LOCAL MP, REPORTS BACK SPROUGHTON BOWLS CLUB We held our AGM on October 25, a full report of which will be available soon at: The meeting selected new officers – Club President Kate Sarginson, Chairperson David Biggs and Club Captain June Laws – as well as a new management committee. By the time you read this we will have played the first of our winter indoor friendly matches, but more have been arranged with the full list as follows: November 26: Ipswich and District December 4: Colchester January 14: Sudbury February 4: Mid-Suffolk February 18: Sole Bay A pre-Christmas social evening has also been arranged for December 3. John Thompson is progressing with plans for the 2017 summer tour to Weymouth which departs for eight nights on August 30. John is still looking for a few more people to join the tour. Please contact him direct or email: Merry Christmas to all.

I recently hosted a Broadband Summit meeting as part of my commitment to ensuring that faster and more efficient broadband and digital connectivity is available to all – not only those living and working in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, but also across the wider county of Suffolk. Since that meeting in October, I have been out and about visiting businesses and schools across the constituency as well as hosting my regular Constituency Advice Bureaus. A very common theme that comes up time and time again is the issue of fast and reliable broadband. Even for our youngest children, reliable broadband is an essential part of every day school life now with homework or research tasks being set online. With the drive to discover new and innovative ways of delivering our health care and public services, more and more tasks are being directed online, for example ordering a repeat prescription, reporting a pot hole, requesting a library book or even paying our council tax. Not only does this help to deliver cost savings for our public services, but it also improves the ease with which we can all access public services at a time which is most convenient for us. Many of us are now able to enjoy the flexibility of being able to work from home, but access to fast and reliable broadband is absolutely critical in enabling secure access to electronic business files and records. Of course time is a precious commodity and for many of us, the option to complete our banking transactions or order grocery shopping online can often mean we have more time to spend with family and friends.

“I’m worried by how much money I spend on gas. My home is draughty and I seem to always have the heating on. How can I cut my bills?” The good news is that there are a few different ways you can use less energy, and also pay less for what you use. Start by finding out if you can get a lower price for your gas. Find a copy of your latest bill so you can see how much you’re paying. Then use Citizens Advice’s online energy price comparison tool at to check if a different supplier is offering a cheaper deal.

I have already called for a further Broadband Summit meeting next year to review and maintain progress in this now vital infrastructure, but it would be really helpful for me to know your views and experiences of broadband here in the constituency. I would be very grateful if you would consider completing a very brief survey which will help to give me an overview of the bigger picture for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. The survey can be found at: Understandably some of you may well have difficulties accessing this online, but if you would like a paper copy, please contact my office and they will be glad to help. For more information, please visit:

If you do find a better offer, call or email the new supplier and ask to move to the tariff you’ve identified. They’ll inform your old supplier and switch you over to their supply. This normally takes 17 days. You should also look into improving your insulation, such as getting draught excluders or cavity wall insulation. Energy Champions at Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk can help explain what could work best for your home and the potential costs involved. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help you meet the cost of your bills, as well as any improvement works to your home. For further information and help email advice@midsuffolkcab., call us on 01449 676060 or visit our offices in Milton Road South, Stowmarket IP14 1EZ.

If you are aged 40 - 74 and have not had a stroke or been diagnosed with heart disease,

high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes then you are eligible for a free NHS health check.

To arrange the check contact your registered GP practice who will be able to make an

appointment for you. Alternatively, you can also contact OneLife Suffolk to arrange the

check for you on (01473) 718193.


ON THE GRAPEVINE/CHURCH NEWS WARNING OVER NOTTINGHAM KNOCKERS Police are warning residents to be mindful of so-called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ working in the area. The have recently been cold calling in the West Suffolk area and could be in your location next. A group of young salesmen, historically dubbed the ‘Nottingham Knockers’, often operate in our part of the county. Named after a scam originating in Nottingham in the 1970s, young people travel across the UK targeting a town at a time. They knock at doors and claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, before trying to sell the householder everyday household products at very high prices. These so called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ work in groups across the country but they are not involved in any officially recognised offender rehabilitation programme, and many do not possess a pedlar’s certificate, which are issued by police and are necessary for salespeople to be legally allowed to sell door-to-door. Sympathetic members of the public are being duped into buying cheap products at highlyinflated prices. Please note that having a pedlar’s certificate is in no way an indication that the goods for sale are of merchantable quality.

BRAMFORD METHODIST CHURCH Minister: The Rev D Grimshaw / 01473 805486 Church Steward: Ms R Palmer, 01473 831117 Sunday worship at 10.30am December 4: Mr H Chicken December 11: The Rev D Grimshaw – Holy Communion December 18: Mrs N Glasse           December 25: The Rev D Grimshaw – Christmas Day United Service with St Mary’s Parish Church The computer club meets each Monday evening from 7.30-9.30pm and Wednesday morning from 10am-noon during term time. December 1: United Service at Cherryfields, 3pm December 10: Coffee Morning at Cherryfields, 10-11am December 13: Carols, poems, stories and mince pies, 2pm

CHRISTCHURCH, NEEDHAM MARKET Methodist/United Reformed Church, High Street, Needham Market IP6 8AP

CHURCH CONTACT: Ann Devereux, 01449 721575

Ministers The Rev Mary Playford (URC): 01449 711798 The Rev John Boardman (Methodist): 01787 372738

COUNTDOWN This time of year seems to be about countdowns. There’s the countdown to Christmas – which we call Advent – a time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of the baby Jesus. Many of us have Advent calendars to keep us on track, and some of them have chocolate – which can’t be bad. Some people burn a candle during Advent. You’re meant to burn a small section each day, although the one year I tried this, I lit it and then forgot about it and burned the whole candle in one session. It didn’t make Christmas come any quicker. As the big day gets closer I hope the sense of hope and expectation exceeds that of panic.

Sunday Morning Worship: 10.30am, including crèche and Sunday Club Service of Holy Communion: Second Sunday WEEKDAY ACTIVITIES IN CHRISTCHURCH HALLS Tiddlers (for mums and toddlers 12 months to four years): Monday, 9.30-11am (term time) Contact Hannah: 07969 482360 Scrabble Club: Monday, 2-4pm New players please contact Sheila Norris: 01449 720871 Knit for Peace: First Wednesday, 2.30-4pm Contact Sheila Norris: 01449 720871 Women’s Fellowship: Second Wednesday, 2.30-3.30pm Contact Linda Hills: 01449 721258 Christians Together Ecumenical Group: Room 4 Christchurch, Thursday, 10am Contact Ann Devereux: 01449 721575 Coffee Morning: Second Saturday 10am-noon, always with a selection of cakes for sale OTHER REGULAR BOOKINGS Weight Watchers: Monday, 7-9pm Karate: Wednesday – juniors 6.30-7.30pm (term time), adults 7.308.30pm Rainbow Guides: Thursday, 5.30-6.30pm (term time) Brownies: Thursday, 6.30-7.30pm (term time) HALL LETTINGS: There are spaces available for hire. To arrange a visit to view or for further information: 07851 742847 24

The other countdown I am thinking of comes a week after Christmas Day as midnight December 31 approaches: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... Happy New Year! The clocks chime, the sky is full of fireworks and we pass from the old to the new. In these dark days of winter, may you all embrace both these countdowns and know the joy and excitement of the birth of the Christ Child, and approach the blank page of the New Year eager to fill it with wonderful memories. So I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas, and a New Year full of promise and joy. The Rev Mary Playford DECEMBER AT CHRISTCHURCH Christmas Festival: Friday, December 2 and Saturday 3 from 10am-5pm and Sunday 5 from noon-5pm. Come and see an amazing display of cribs, stars, angels and trees. Festival Concert: Friday, December 2 at 7.30pm Crib Service: Thursday, December 15 at 5.30pm. An opportunity to hear the wonderful Nativity Story for the first or umpteenth time. Christmas Day Service: Sunday, December 25 at 10.30am. Led by The Rev Mary Playford. New Year coffee morning with cake stall: Saturday, January 14 In Touch online:



when we prepare for the coming of Christ into the world, and into our lives.

Assistant Curate: The Rev Julian Fennel, 01473 833250

So how does the church prepare? Well we have special readings and prayers in our services which lead us towards the events of Christmas, and we spend some time thinking about what this might mean for us. We will also be planning the Christmas services. Each year we give Christmas a theme and this year we will be focusing on the shepherds. If you would like to come to our services as a shepherd, please do (children and adults).  We will also be circulating the Posada figures again around the village, the church community and the school, so watch out for them. Please check porch notices for any changes Wednesday, 9.30am: Quiet Reflective Communion Service December 1 3pm

United Service at Cherryfields

December 4 8am 10am 2pm

Advent 2 Parish Communion, Lt Blakenham Family Communion with Baptism, Bramford WI Carol Service, Bramford

December 11 10am 3pm 5pm 6pm

Advent 3 Family Communion, Bramford Traditional Carols, with mulled wine, Nettlestead 5 o’clock Service Christmas party, Bramford Traditional Carols by candlelight, Baylham

December 13 12.30pm The Christmas Gathering, Church Room December 18 10am 10am 4pm 6pm

Advent 4 Family Communion, Bramford Holy Communion, Baylham Traditional Carol Service, Lt Blakenham Traditional Carols by Candlelight , Bramford

We look forward to seeing you over the festive period. Blessings Jenny PARISH REGISTERS Funerals October 11, Peter Turner, Bramford             October 25, Ann Cullen, Nettlestead November 5, Ann Cullen Thanksgiving Service, Nettlestead November 7, Garry Wilden, Bramford We extend to their families our sympathy and prayers. Cleaning rota: H and P Hart Flower rota: Advent and Christmas Floodlighting of the Spire of St Mary’s Church

December 20 2.30pm Bramford Primary School Service, Bramford Church

December 9: To mark the centenary of the birth of Marjorie Earthy

December 21 2pm Carol Service, Baylham Care Centre

Christmas: In memory of Walter Isaiah Carmen

December 24 11am 3pm 5pm 11.30pm

Christmas Eve Communion for Christmas, Baylham Care Centre Crib Service, Bramford Crib Service, Baylham First Communion of Christmas, by candlelight, Bramford

December 25 10am 10am

Christmas Day United Christmas Service, Methodist Chapel Communion for Christmas, Nettlestead

January 1 10am

First Sunday of Christmas United Communion Service, Bramford

Dear All Well it hardly seems like five minutes since last Christmas and here we are again! In fact, the batteries in my wonderful Christmas jumper are still working so providing they last out December I will wear it at the Crib Service on Christmas Eve. However, we still have the whole of December to go, the time of year we know as Advent. It is a time of waiting and preparation, not just the physical preparation that we are used to, buying presents and cards and food, but also a time of spiritual preparation, a time 26

December 9: Also in memory of Ronald Earthy on his 98th birthday

December 26: In memory of Kathy Sparrow If you would like to have the spire floodlit please ring Stewart on 01473 462231. The requested donation is £10 a week. Lectionary Bible Readings for our Sunday Worship are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It’s good to share the reading of Scripture with Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, across the world.

December 4 Isaiah 11:1-10

Advent 2 Romans 15:4-13

Purple Matthew 3:1-12

December 11 Isaiah 35:1-10

Advent 3 James 5:7-10

Purple Matthew 11:2-11

December 18 Isaiah 7:10-16

Advent 4 Romans 1:1-7

Purple Matthew 1:18-end

December 24/25 Isaiah 9:2-7

Christmas Eve/Day Titus 2:11-14

Gold Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

January 1

Naming of Jesus


Isaiah 63: 7-9

Hebrews 2:10-18

Matthew 2 13-23 In Touch online:






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S C A N - M A G I C A U D I O - M A G I C V I D E O - M A G I C UNIT 12








C I N E - M A G I C






MEMOR ES Bringing Your Memories to Life



In Touch News with Bramford – December 2016