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with Baylham, Gt. & Lt. Blakenham & Nettlestead Volume 8 • Issue No.5 • MARCH 2018

Image by Nick Berry


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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR Now don’t tell my boss, but on Tuesday mornings when I arrive at work before A Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4 has ended, I’m forced to sit in the car until it does. Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them. I particularly loved his interview with Eugenia Cheng on the mathematics of mathematics. Though it was never my strongest subject, I continue to love maths, desperate to understand and to find the right answer, though I seldom do. What’s extraordinary about many of the people featured on A Life Scientific is how often a childhood interest or passion has led to a fulfilling career and it’s clear that doing something you love is a wonderful privilege. I’ll be playing the podcasts to my son when he’s a little older because whatever he does in life I want it to be what makes him happy. You may have read about the letter a teacher in Singapore sent to parents the week before her students were to sit exams. Here’s a short extract: “I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well. But, please do remember, amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams there is an artist who doesn’t need to understand math, an entrepreneur who doesn’t care about history or English literature, a musician whose chemistry marks won’t matter. There’s an athlete whose physical fitness is more important than physics. If your child does get top marks, that’s great, but if he or she doesn’t please don’t take away their self-confidence and dignity. Tell them no matter what they score you love them and will not judge them. Please do this and when you do, watch your children conquer the world. One exam or a low mark won’t take that away. And please don’t think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world.” I hope you have or have had the opportunity to do what you love and that you can inspire others to do likewise. Driving to work at 6am on a cold January morning is never easy, but it’s a whole lot easier if you’re looking forward to the day ahead.

NEWS HOT CROSS BUNS COFFEE MORNING There will be a Hot Cross Buns Coffee Morning at High Hall Farm, Nettlestead IP8 4QT on Saturday, March 31, 10am-noon. Stalls for books, cakes, plants and raffle. In aid of the church roof fund.

FILM NIGHT AT BAYLHAM VILLAGE HALL Join us at Baylham Village Hall on Saturday, March 17 at 7.30pm when we shall be showing local film from the East Anglian Film Archive. Tickets £7.50 including light refreshments from Wendy (01473 830615) or at door.

BELSTEAD VILLAGE MONTHLY MARKETS A market is set to take place in Belstead Village Hall from 9am-noon on the first Saturday of every month – starting on Saturday, April 7 – to raise vital funds to support refurbishment of the kitchen and ladies toilet. With an extensive range of tables, a raffle and refreshments, the market is the perfect place to meet with friends for a chat over a cuppa and a piece of cake while supporting this essential local amenity. You can also support Macmillan who will have a table laden with homemade goodies for sale.

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If you can sew, make or create and would like to hire a table (£10) please contact: 07981 335859 /

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

01473 400380 Send editorial copy to: Readers are invited to submit articles, illustrations and photographs for publication. The publishers reserve the right to amend such submissions and cannot accept responsibility for any loss.


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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 Baylham, Gt. & Lt. Blakenham & Nettlestead is published by Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd as part of the “In Touch with . . . ” series of magazines.

We also publish In Touch with... •  NEW Beyton, Drinkstone, Elmswell, Haughley, Hessett, Norton, Tostock, Wetherden & Woolpit •B  ramford, Offton, Somersham & Willisham •C  apel St Mary •B  arham, Claydon, Henley & Whitton •B  elstead, Bentley, Copdock, Tattingstone & Washbrook •D  edham, East Bergholt, Flatford & Stratford St Mary • Ipswich East •K  esgrave & Rushmere St Andrew •B  rantham, Lawford, Manningtree & Mistley •M  artlesham Heath & Old Martlesham •N  eedham Market & The Creetings •C  helmondiston, Erwarton, Harkstead, Holbrook, Pin Mill, Shotley, Stutton & Woolverstone •B  urstall & Sproughton •S  towmarket & Stowupland • Ashbocking, Tuddenham St Martin, Westerfield & Witnesham •C  hattisham, Hadleigh, Hintlesham, Holton St Mary, Layham & Raydon •M  elton & Woodbridge

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HAVE YOU SEEN BILLY? Little Bill has not been seen since September 30 and is very much missed. He’s a friendly, inquisitive boy, so may have sneaked into your house for fuss, or a shed to be nosey. He lives on Church Lane, Baylham We are very worried about him, especially since the weather has turned. He’s just 19 months old. Please call/text Katie on 07875 273676 or Jon on 07810 356907 (please leave a message if no answer) if you have seen him or know where he is. He is microchipped, but not yet neutered due to having a retained testicle.

Bramford Church Room Saturday, March 17 Hundreds of Books: Paperbacks 30p Hardbacks 40p Large books 50p Refreshments available

10 MARCH 2018

is the final date for both advertising and editorial copy

Nick Berry took this month’s beautiful cover image in his back garden. I simply can’t resist snowdrops. Thanks Nick.




Bramford Guide & Scout HQ on Ship Lane in Bramford has been the HQ for Guides and Scouts in the village since the 1980s when the parish council gave them permission to use the old Bramford Primary School. The parish council is responsible for the up-keep and maintenance of the exterior of the building and the Guide and Scout Groups are responsible for the inside. As a charity we currently have six volunteers who are responsible for management of the building, including fundraising. However, there are some areas of the HQ that need refurbishment to bring it up to spec. We have identified the following: replacement kitchen, refurbishment of boys and girls toilets including provision of a disabled toilet, renewing skirting tiles around the main hall, repainting of the HQ throughout and some sound proofing to improve acoustics in the main hall. We anticipate that this work will cost approximately £12,000 to enable us to meet the needs of everyone who uses the building. We have £3,000 so need to raise a further £9,000. We are currently looking into grants under S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy plus MSDC and SCC locality funding. If anyone is able to support this project in any way, either with knowledge of available grants and applications, monetary donations, building experience, labour or donations of equipment required from companies that you work for, it would be much appreciated. In order to complete the much needed works, we are looking to undertake the following fundraisers: • Create a lasting legacy brick wall whereby past and present Guide and Scout members and their families can buy an inscribed brick to go on a wall in the entrance hall to the HQ. Small bricks will be available for £30 each or businesses can advertise their services on larger bricks for £60. • Car wash on Sunday, April 29 with refreshments including bacon rolls, homemade cakes and beverages, so please spread the word and send all your friends and family to get their cars, vans and motorbikes cleaned by section members between 10am to 3pm.

As we all know, there are many challenges facing our community – now and in the future – as development continues and the population of the village grows. Your parish council is committed to speaking for the village to keep emphasising to decision makers the problems that this is causing the residents of Great Blakenham in many areas. Amongst these are the lack of a pre-school, primary school, GP surgery, etc. in a village of this size, the major issues with traffic flow, speeding, parking, mud and other debris on the roads, the potential problems caused by such a large scale development as SnOasis. The list is very long and many of these issues are outside the control of the parish council, but we will continue to raise the concerns of villagers at every opportunity and press for the needs of the community to be considered and met. If you would like to add your voice to ours, why not consider becoming a parish councillor? We still have one vacancy – please contact the clerk for further information. The much delayed roadworks to install the pedestrian crossing on Stowmarket Road should have finally commenced by the time you receive this magazine. Obviously, this is a major and complex project – it involves changes to street lighting, alterations of the layout of two junctions, road resurfacing as well as the pedestrian crossing itself – but the numerous changes of date for the start have been frustrating for the parish council as well as yourselves. For all roadworks we have to rely on the information supplied to us by Highways or contractors. This is passed on to you as we receive it, but often proves to be inaccurate because of delays caused by a variety of factors such as the weather, over runs on other projects, etc. One of the features that we want to develop on our new website is the photo gallery. Mr and Mrs Hood have very kindly allowed us to scan in an interesting selection of old photos of village life and some of these are now on the website. However, if you have any photos showing the village or special occasions in the village, particularly from the 1950s onwards, please contact the clerk to see if they are suitable to be included on the website.

• Duck Race on July 7 at the annual village fun day.

We always welcome the chance to hear the views of our community, so if you have any suggestions for improvements that can be considered for the benefit of the parish, we want to hear from you. Please either come along to a meeting or email our clerk.

If you are able to help support this project in any way, please contact us at the following address:

The next parish council meeting is on Wednesday, March 14, starting at 7pm in the Parish Room.

If you would like to purchase a brick to go up on our lasting legacy wall, please contact us by May 1.

Parish Clerk: / 07508 830777


Thank you for reading this and for your interest in the work of your parish council.

Facebook: @greatblakenhampc / Twitter: @pcgtblakenham

Chairman Steve Plume  

It’s here! MSBE, our first ever business exhibition, at The Mix, Stowmarket, on Wednesday, March 21, starting at 9am. Don’t miss out – if you’re intending to come book now via the link at where you can also find out who’s exhibiting, register for the seminar topics and find out more about the sponsors. We’ll still be running our regular events: Friday, March 2, 10am-noon: Coffee and Networking at Needham Market Community Centre, School Street, Needham Market Friday, March 16, 6.45am: Breakfast at The Mix, 127 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket


JIGSAW EVENING The Friends of Bramford Church are holding a jigsaw evening on Thursday, March 22 in Bramford Church Room at 7pm for a prompt 7.15pm start. This popular event will include refreshments and a draw. Entry is £3 per person. Come either as a team of four or as an individual; we can make teams up as necessary. Proceeds go towards the upkeep of the church building. Stewart McGinty

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NEWS COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT JOHN FIELD’S REPORT TO GIPPING VALLEY: FEBRUARY 2018 Highways: At last Great Blakenham’s Zebra Crossing at Mill Lane is under construction, but disruption from works by utilities and developers still disrupt the area, particularly at Hackneys Corner. After our last Scrutiny meeting the committee chair is to write to the government calling for new guidance strengthening the powers of planning and highway authorities to place tougher conditions on developers and utilities. These should minimise the impact of their activities on residents and businesses. £21m to pay for road resurfacing: The county council plan to borrow an extra £21m over the next three years to pay for resurfacing of 1,000 miles of roads, 25% of those in Suffolk. This should reduce reactive maintenance costs. However, it is concerning to see a £300,000 cut in the highway maintenance budget which will reduce the amount of gritting carried out. It may cost insurers more than is saved and make it harder to get to work.

Barham and Claydon Planning; The application for 312 houses at the Whitton end of the Old Ipswich Road is at planning referrals on February 14. I will be taking part in the decision, so I must keep an open mind. Local opinions will of course be considered and given substantial weight, but planning law must be followed and there is a need for housing. Education, highways and environmental considerations will be important. The county is becoming aware of the overall numbers of houses proposed in Gipping Valley, which hosts a large part of the Mid Suffolk Ipswich Fringe.

Council confirms budget proposals: The Conservative councillors have confirmed the final budget proposals for 2018-19. Since Scrutiny when I reported last, there has been a detailed change to the increases: Council Tax will now rise by 2.99% following a seven-year freeze and the Adult Social Care Precept by a further 2%. The total stays at 4.99%. However, the change brings the opportunity to increase Council Tax by 3% and the Social Care Precept by a further 1% next year. Regrettably, with no end to government cuts to local authority grants in sight and increasing demand and cost of care for the elderly and the disabled, such tax rises will continue to be necessary or the NHS will suffer the knock-on effects.

Comment from County Highways often appears muted, but the government defined threshold for harm that drives substantial highway improvement or the blocking of development is high.

Adult Care: The adult care budget is already much stretched and heading for a £3.47m overspend this year. In 2018-19 the budget is increased by inflation and the Social Care Precept then reduced by £12m leaving it £3m above last year. To achieve that figure ‘demand will be managed’.

District Council Mid Suffolk, who have a substantial Transformation Fund gathered from past New Homes Bonus payments, are limiting this year’s Council Tax rise to 0.5%. They are concerned that a problem looms for the district as the government shifts cash to the county via the Better Care Fund. However, past payments have not been used so the change is hardly a surprise.

Rural transport: £150,000 will be cut from the sponsored bus services budget, resulting in a reduced number of rural bus services. I am concerned that this will target some of our most vulnerable residents and increase rural isolation. There is currently no more information on which services could be affected. However, the council has pledged to work with local councillors and I will keep you updated. Home to School Transport: You will have noticed the intense interest that home to school transport is provoking in areas where many children travel but not to their nearest school. Costs can be a real challenge for parents. I reported the details in December, but final decisions are yet to be made. Police and Crime Panel: We agreed the PCC’s proposal for a £12 increase in the police precept having listened to their budget difficulties. There are major challenges, a larger than expected police pay rise and increased pension fund payments. However, we were told that the large tax increase will fund extra staff. We asked for details but must wait until staff have been informed. The Hold – a new heritage centre in Ipswich: The Development Control Committee has approved a scheme to build a new heritage centre near the Ipswich Waterfront. It will house the bulk of Suffolk’s archival


collections and will also include teaching spaces for the University of Suffolk. The project is expected to cost £20m funded by the county council, the University of Suffolk, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wolfson Foundation. There is concern that all records from Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds could be moved to Ipswich, but that was not the intention when the plans were first formulated.

There is a Re-Advertisement Outline Planning Application for the proposed development on Barham Church Lane for the erection of up to 300 homes. In Bramford there is a new outline application with access and all other matters reserved for residential development of up to 225 homes on Lorraine Way adjacent to the CEMEX development.

I am concerned that we again appear to have a problem spending the government’s Disabled Facilities Grant. This funds low cost adaptions, preventative measures such as grab rails which help keep people in their homes where they want to be. It improves people’s lives and reduces the cost of care. The problem is in the approvals process that requires skilled staff. The county and district must work together on this to reduce delays. The district’s Investment for Purpose programme aims to make a profit from investment of low interest Public Loan Board money in commercial property. This profit may compensate for the reductions in government grants and we are told it is low risk. I hope that is correct. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State, does not appear to agree and he has just released ‘guidance’ discouraging such investments. If you have any queries, please phone me on 01473 831306 (you will need to say your name and press #) or 07545 423808 or email me at: I do have Twitter (@JohnFieldjd) and Facebook (fieldjd) accounts and my website is at:

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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!

Cloudy2Clear GUARANTEE All Customers That An Average Quote Will Take No Longer Than 20 MINS!!!


NEWS SUFFOLK ENERGY-FROM-WASTE FACILITY GALA DAY: SATURDAY, JULY 21 Come and have a look around The Suffolk energy-from-waste facility is holding a series of open days, which will include a tour of the facility and time to explore our visitor centre. Places are currently available on the following days: Tuesday, March 20, 6-8pm Wednesday, June 20, 10am-noon Tuesday, June 26, 2-4pm There are 20 spaces on each day and you must pre-book. To book your place, please email with your preferred dates and we will confirm your place by email. If you would like to come but cannot make these dates, you can email us to register your interest and we will let you know when the next open days are planned. We also organise trips for interest groups and schools so get in touch if your group or class would like to come and have a look around. Book your school for a visit The new term is now in full swing, so it’s a great time for schools to come and visit our specially designed visitor centre and have a site tour. Classes of up to 30 students in Key Stage 2 and above can come to the site and explore how we make good use of Suffolk’s waste! During the tour we explore topics across the science curriculum including materials, units and states of matter and highlight the use of science in the workplace. We can also tailor visits to suit the topics you’re covering in school, meaning the experience is suitable for students in Key Stage 2 all the way up to university level. If you would like to discuss what we can offer your school please email: Any questions? If you have any queries about our operations, please do not hesitate to contact the facility on 01473 839149.

CLAYDON & BARHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE We have a few vacancies for bar staff and also for a cleaner; please apply to the community centre on 01473 831805. Friday, March 16: Cactus Jack and the Long Horns Come on down and stamp on the floor. Entry 7pm-late, £5 at the door or at the centre when open. REGULAR ACTIVITIES Monday: Short Mat Carpet Bowls / Bar Open Tuesday: Karate (all ages 4-7pm), Carpet Bowls, Ladies Darts / Bar Open Wednesday: Bingo / Bar Open Thursday: Street Dance for Young People, 6.30-8pm Friday: Karate (all ages 4-7pm) / the hall is available in the evening for your suggestions / Bar Open Saturday: Bar open from noon-3pm and from 7pm Sunday: Bar open from noon-6pm The bar is fully stocked with popular lagers, cask ales and spirits and the hall or Compton Bar are available for hire. The pool table is fully operational; come in and play a frame or two. At the time of writing, The Money Box is half way through the 15 keys and the prize is currently £253. We play every Friday at 10pm.


Yes, this year is a Gala Day year! Please come and join in the fun at our joint communities Gala Day on Saturday, July 21. Because of the increase in our shared connections with organisations in Great Blakenham, this year we thought it appropriate to invite them to join in. This should mean a bigger and better event and be of mutual benefit all our community organisations. Initially we are looking for local organisations to run a stall, display crafts, display their skills or take part in some way. This day is often a good way to increase membership or attendance at your own individual weekly/monthly meetings or events. We have already booked a bouncy castle, ice-cream seller, donkey ride, Punch & Judy show and a carousel and are now looking for your local group and/or individuals to join in. As in previous years, all the money raised after costs will be pooled. To this we add the profit from our major raffle and every community organisation involved will get a share of the total profits raised. The idea is to give an excellent event for the local villagers to support while raising money to support the organisation that work so hard in your community. So if you are active in the community get involved and help us help you. Additionally we would love to have local craft societies showing their talents and/or selling their wares both at inside stalls or outside on the school field. So if you are or know of any local craftspeople then get in touch and consider coming along and showing the community the talents we have in our midst. We also need helpers happy to set up from 8am and help clear away from 4pm to assist the small organising team. For more information contact Jonathan Dedman: 1 Drury Road, Claydon IP6 0ED / 01473 830890 / We sincerely hope you can help us make it a successful day by offering your support. Claydon & Barham Local Community Trust Ltd

SUFFOLK DEMENTIA HELPLINE 01473 353350 We are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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A Community Shop for the local community, run by the local community

The Playing Field, Princes Gardens, Somersham / 01473 833416

GREAT BLAKENHAM CRAFT CLUB Open to anyone iving not just in Great Blakenham but anywhere in the surrounding area. The club meets from 2-3pm every Monday (other than Bank Holidays) in Great Blakenham Parish from February to December.  The Parish Room is the building with a green door more or less opposite the Chequers Public House. The building is fully accessible with parking at the rear. Members pay £2 per meeting to cover hall hire, refreshments, the monthly workshop goody bag and weekly raffle prizes. Alternatively, if you would just like to come and bring your own project  to work on,  enjoy our company and make new friends without doing the workshops the charge is £1.50 per meeting. Members take it in turns to make the tea.

OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm / Saturdays: 9am-1pm

The club restarted on Monday, February 5 and we were pleased to welcome Tina Dale from Bramford as a new member. 

We can’t believe that more than six years have passed since the doors first opened on our community shop. Six years of serving the local community by our marvelous volunteers who have kept the shop going over that time. It is also the customers who keep the shop alive and thriving, without them there would be no shop. During this time the shop has become central to the great community spirit to our villages. Long may it continue!

February being our charity projects month, we had started making mother and baby bonding squares to pass to the hospital baby unit and drainage bag covers to pass to St Elizabeth’s Hospice. Our picture shows some of the items that were brought in on February 5. At the meeting we had a visit from Sarah from St Elizabeth’s Hospice to tell us about the crafting group she looks after who upcycle donated items for sale at the hospice shop and at fayres and events throughout the area. Some of our members are already involved in this group.

Through the winter we’ve been pleased to welcome everybody to our Tea and Chat afternoons which take place in the Coffee Corner on the last Wednesday of each month. There’s generally been about a dozen people having a hot drink, a piece of cake and a chat with others for a couple of hours, a time to relax and catch up with the news. The next meeting, and what will be the last this winter, is on Wednesday, March 28, 2-4pm. If you haven’t been before do come along; you will be made most welcome. Seats also get taken up at the Petrolheads sessions on the first Wednesday of each month all year round, 2-4pm, so make a point of being there if you are interested in anything motor-based. It’s a good chance to have a good gossip with other like-minded people. The board in Coffee Corner shows where all our local products are sourced – take a look at it and you will see who our suppliers are and where they come from. Dairy products, bread, meat, cakes, vegetables, eggs, pickles, pies and much more come from our suppliers, all from Suffolk, and many are from our nearby surrounding villages. This helps the local producers and economy and also gives us the freshest food from our own local fields and farms. We are a small shop where you can do a big shop. We stock a whole range of household goods and interesting items and always welcome suggestions of other ranges and services that we might offer. Plus all fresh produce can be ordered so you can get what you want when you want – one-off or regular orders. Our other services at the shop include the book exchange, dry-cleaning service, delivery to those with mobility difficulties, and always a ready smile and happy word from our volunteer staff. The shop management team is looking at offering promotions in the future, for example our shop hessian bags are to be offered at £7 for two (or still one at £3.99). These bags are extremely sturdy for carrying goods, can easily be folded up to put in a handbag or to stow in the car for use when out shopping. There are more offers under consideration so do keep a lookout for what’s on offer. If you would like to be among the first to hear of promotions and other things happening in the shop, just drop an email to and we will add you to our mailing list. Lucy also says ‘Like us on Facebook’. We are very pleased this month to welcome Natasha Leach to the management team and look forward to her input into the furtherance of her new ideas for happenings in the shop, and wish her every success in her future with us. Management Team Lucy Barrett: 831890 / Sue Browne: 831321 Terry Fordham: 831529 / Peter Jousiffe / Natasha Leach Anne MacFadyen: 831288 / Steve Woolhouse: 831080

We then had a celebration tea as we wished Alison Milton all the best as she becomes Mrs Paul Newman on February 14. Our programme for March and April is: March 5            A Taste of the Orient April 9              Take a Piece of Card If you have been interested in our entries to the magazine over the past year and think it all  sounds interesting, there is currently room for  new members so if you would like to join us please get in touch. Although the club is all ladies at present gentlemen who would like to learn crafts are welcome. Unfortunately I cannot accommodate children. Jackie Durrant, 01449 672690  

FOUR COMMUNITIES ACTION GROUP 4CAG was created in 2010 by members of the churches of Barham, Claydon, Great Blakenham and Henley. We aim to work together as four parishes to develop new activities and support networks and provide spiritual support and encouragement with a view to enhancing the lives of all members of the community. We currently have five organisations under our umbrella. The Knitting Group: Do you enjoy knitting or want to learn how to? We meet in the lounge at Alasdair Place on the first Thursday in the month from 10.30am-noon. We pay £1 towards refreshments. Do come along and see us there. The Book Club: Do you fancy reading something different to what you would usually choose? We have a few places left for new members on the last Thursday in the month at The Crown at 10.30am. The Gipping Valley Art Society: This small, friendly group meets every Tuesday afternoon at Great Blakenham Parish Rooms. We take our own materials and have our own projects for painting in various mediums. Membership is free, but we pay a weekly subscription to cover room hire, refreshments and so on. We are now taking contact details only as the group is at capacity. Contact: Ann 01473 831031 / Margaret 01473 830135 4 Ever Young Men’s Club: Meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 10.30am in The Crown. We are looking for new members to both join the club and lend a hand in helping to run the group, arrange and organise activities, speakers and events and make the club what you want it to be. Pop in and meet us for a chat, the chance to make new friends and maybe a pie and a pint at lunchtime! Meet ‘n’ Eat Lunch Club: Unfortunately, the Meet ’n’ Eat Lunch Club is unable to continue at the present time. We are actively looking for volunteers who would be able to take on some of the responsibility of running the event every month, covering the administration, food safety training, preparation and service and the inevitable washing up! For an informal chat, please contact Mike on 07805 507497 or email:




The club  is open to anyone of that age living not just in Great Blakenham but anywhere in the surrounding area. We meet from 2-4pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in Great Blakenham Parish Room. The cost per meeting is £1.50 which includes whatever activity is programmed for the afternoon, refreshments and 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. The Parish Room, which is fully accessible and has parking at the rear, is the building with the green door more or less opposite the Chequers Public House.

Despite last half term being very short, we have been busy with various trips, visits and activities including debating and student leadership training, as well as some successful sporting achievements in cross-country and athletics.

On February 14 with the Winter Olympics taking place we had a talk about Korea and my visit there and some of the sights and places I visited. On February 28 we have a bring-and-buy sale.

At the end of January, in preparation for their upcoming exam, Year 11 GCSE Art students visited the Tate Modern in London, getting inspiration from the many artists on display as well as enjoying the fantastic panoramic view of central London from the viewing floor. The set exam theme for this year is Fragments so students focussed on pieces that were fragmented, broken or dismantled, taking photograph and making sketches to use as inspiration for their own work. On February 5 a group of students were joined by a fantastic band from Guildford called Kissed and Crowned and a team from IEM (Industry Education in Music) to take part in a rock band workshop and concert.

Our programme for the next two months is: March 14 What do you know about Suffolk? March 28      Beetle Drive with Jean April 11         A visit from Andy Malcolm from the Fisherman’s Mission April 25         Social Afternoon New members are always 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

BRAMFORD TENNIS CLUB Hola amigos! Yes you’ve guessed it, I have just returned from sunnier climes after a week of R&R sampling the quality of the local hop and vine production (all up to standard, thanks for asking). Consequently there is little of note to report from the tennis club this month… sorry, I was waiting for the usual derogatory comments about there being no change then! Nick, my erstwhile tennis partner, informs me that he has played in a couple of matches since Christmas (makes a change as he usually stands about getting in the way while I play). Graham and Nick have managed to notch up a couple of wins to keep themselves in contention for the top spots; their form normally drops off after the Yuletide excess, at least until the hangover has cleared, so this is quite encouraging. All thoughts are turning towards the AGM and Graham has been busy trying to source some new cattle prods to help with recruitment to the committee (only joking; we have to be a lot more subtle since Amnesty International got involved last year). The date of the AGM hasn’t been agreed yet so I will include it in next month’s rubbish… I meant news! The membership fees for the year are set by the committee, as is my fee for writing this piece every month. Graham assures me that my cheque will be in the post just as soon as the chap in Nigeria who contacted him via the internet has released the funds (upon receipt of the money in the tennis club working account). Apparently once our cheque has cleared the hefty commission we get will pay my bill easily; it’s good to know the club is in safe hands. JOKE OF THE MONTH A man goes into a local car dealer to make a complaint about the car he recently bought from them. The man wants to return the car; the dealer asks him what’s wrong with it. “It’s no good, it won’t go beyond 60 up Larch hill where I live,” said the man. “That is a very steep hill, what’s wrong with that?” asks the dealer. “Well,” said the man, “I live at number 83.” I think the jet lag is still affecting my jokes. More guff next month. Mick Russ


Students from across all year groups split into groups to form eight separate ’bands’ and spent the day composing original pop music from scratch. With a very tight deadline this was a huge challenge, but our talented students worked extremely hard, using advice and guidance from the professionals to come up with some impressive and original material that was performed at a concert on the very same evening. Year 11 continue to prepare for their exams and on February 23 and 24, 110 students travelled to the Outdoors Centre in East Mersea to take part in an intense GCSE Bootcamp. This overnight event was a chance for Year 11 students to get together to learn vital revision strategies to take away with them, as well as taking part in structured Maths and English revision within a classroom setting and enjoying some outdoor challenges, such as the climbing wall, assault course and high ropes. It was really good fun (despite the mud and chilly temperatures!) and the revision process should now start in earnest. We have a small but dedicated PTA committee who work tirelessly for the benefit of the school and our students. They have organised a quiz night on Thursday, March 22, 7-9pm. If you would like to join us for this fun and popular evening, please contact Lisa, the PTA chairperson: As I write this article, we still have so much to look forward to including our annual fun run, an art exhibition featuring work from our feeder primary school students alongside Years 7-9, a music recital by Year 10 students, giving them an opportunity to perform their GCSE pieces to an audience, and BBC School Report Day. If you would like to visit the school and see us in action, please come along to one of our open mornings. The date of the next one is Wednesday, March 21. To book a place please telephone my PA, Mrs J Saunders: 01473 836110 Headteacher Maéve Taylor

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SCHOOLS CLAYDON PRE-SCHOOL 100 CLUB In January we had 53 entries in the 100 Club draw, raising £26.50 for Claydon Pre-school. The winners were: 1: Beverley Fenn (60) 2: Lesllie Vinyard (68) 3: Lisa Robinson (6)

£15.90 £7.95 £2.65

New members are welcome at any time. Entry is just £1 per month and the draw takes place on the last Thursday of each month. The more entries we get the greater the prize money and all money raised is used to enhance the lives of our children within the pre-school.

CLAYDON PRE-SCHOOL Well the evenings are getting lighter and everyone is feeling very spring-like now. The children are busy making Easter bonnets at home for the Easter Eggstravaganza on Thursday, March 29. They will also be busy with lots of Easter themed crafts as well as playing outside lots more and hopefully enjoying lots of sunshine! The children had lots of fun dressing up for World Book Day, over the whole week. There were lots of very good costumes and a good time was had by all.  We have a Stay & Play week starting on March 19 where we invite parents and carers to come in and spend some time with the children while they are playing and doing lots of creative activities. As we are now open throughout each of the school holidays we will have the option to take children up to five years old for additional sessions during these weeks, subject to availability. The next bookings are for the Easter holidays (Tuesday, April 3 to Monday 16 inclusive). Please contact the administration assistant for more details. Don’t forget that from September 2017 the government introduced an additional 15 hours funding for working parents of three- and four-yearolds. This means that parents who both earn the equivalent of 16 hours at National Minimum Wage (£115.20 per week) or more per week and less that £100,000 per year (or just one carer if a single parent) are eligible to claim up to 30 hours of funding. You can register at Childcare Choices to see if you are eligible and also register for the Government Childcare Vouchers Scheme. If you are using the 30 hours you must provide a code to us with the 30 hour code (given once registered) and your national insurance number. Once we have checked these details you can book sessions (subject to availability) for the following term. If you would like an application form or any further information please contact administration assistant Lisa Read: Claydon Pre-school, Old Scout Hut, Thornhill Road, Claydon IP6 0DZ / / 01473 831648

HENLEY PRE-SCHOOL The pre-school is keeping very busy this term. In January we had a visit from a fireman, this month the community police will be coming to see the children and a spring trip is planned in April to visit Easton Farm Park. We will also be celebrating Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year and Mother’s Day. Many thanks to everyone who supported and sponsored our quiz and curry night which raised a staggering £1,100 for the pre-school. Our sessions are currently full, but we will have spaces for those children who wish to start in September 2018 and would encourage parents/carers to apply as soon as possible. For further information please call 01473 833848 during session time (9am3pm) or email our manager, Bridget Wyatt; Bridget and the team


SCHOOLS / CHURCH NEWS CLAYDON & BARHAM YOUNG FAMILIES Claydon and Barham Young Families is a Mothers’ Union project which has been run by Mothers’ Union members and supporters for 27 years. We welcome mums, dads, carers and grandparents from Claydon, Barham, Great Blakenham and the surrounding villages with babies or children under five. Entry is just £1.50 per family.

BRAMFORD METHODIST CHURCH Minister: The Rev Derek Grimshaw 01473 805486 / Steward: Ms R Palmer, 01473 831117

This month we meet on Thursdays, March 8 and 22 from 9.30-11.30am in Claydon and Barham Village Hall.

Please feel free to contact either of us with any queries; baptisms, marriages and funerals by arrangement with the minister who will also arrange Holy Communion for the housebound.

At our regular sessions families can enjoy a themed craft activity where children can be creative and try out different materials to produce an individual masterpiece.

SUNDAY • Morning Worship with Holy Communion: every second Sunday, 10.30-11.30am*

Playdough and all sorts of toys that encourage children’s imaginative play and physical and social development are available. For parents and carers it is a good opportunity to meet others with pre-school children or babies. There is also a prize draw for the children.

• Lighthouse Club: 10.30-11.30am (term time only)

This month we would like to wish a happy birthday to Oakley and Olivia who both celebrate in March.

MONDAY Bible Study: informal look at issues that those present wish to discuss, every third Monday, 2-3pm

Why not come along and join in the fun, you can make friends and enjoy some valuable play? Hope to see you there. For more information contact me on 01473 833788 or check our listing on Michelle

PLEASE ASK AN EXPERT FOR ASSISTANCE When the remote on my car key stopped working I endeavoured to fix the problem by putting in a new battery. Once done I proceeded to try it out only to find that not only did it still not work but now the car wouldn’t start either! I went to the manual to find out how to change the battery where I read, ‘Please ask an expert for assistance’. The following morning I made use of my breakdown cover and explained the situation. I was asked if I had put the key back correctly, including the chip, as that’s what communicates with the car. I had noticed a small black piece of plastic and thinking nothing of it threw it into the log basket, thankfully not the fire! What I had thrown away was the chip, but thankfully I found it and had it put back in the key. A locksmith was recommended who came and reprogrammed the key back to working order again. Because of sin we are like the key without the chip that didn’t work, we have lost communication with God. Where I tried to fix the key problem I should have asked an expert for assistance. My efforts did not work, even making it worse and in the same way I cannot solve my sin problem. Jesus came to restore our friendship with God and to open the way to communicate with God again. Sunday, March 18, 4-5.30pm: Discover and Do, family time with craft, songs and a Bible story, followed by hotdogs. All welcome.

• Families @ 4: informal get-together with afternoon tea, 4-6pm (once a month – please check diary). Come and go as you please. This is not a service, but our minister usually joins us.

TUESDAY Network/MWiB*: our ladies’ meeting, although gentlemen are always welcome, second and fourth Tuesdays of month, 2-3pm WEDNESDAY Computer Club: 10am-noon (term time only) Prayers and Laying on of Hands for Healing: second Wednesday of month, 7.30-8.30pm THURSDAY United Service at Cherryfields: first Thursday of month (very informal), 3-3.30pm* SATURDAY Coffee Morning: Methodist Church or Cherryfields (see diary), third Saturday of month, 10-11am *Tea and coffee served afterwards DIARY FOR MARCH Thursday 1: United Service at Cherryfields, 3pm Sunday 4: Morning Worship with Holy Communion, 10.30am The Rev D Grimshaw Sunday 11: Mothering Sunday All-age Worship with The Rev Y Haye, 10.30am Tuesday 13: Network/MWiB, The Rev Diane Smith, 2pm Wednesday 14: Prayers and Laying on of Hands for Healing, 7.30pm Saturday 17: Coffee Morning at the Methodist Church, 10am Sunday 18: Passion Sunday Morning Worship with Mr L Rokubuli, 10.30am, Monday 19: Bible Study, 2pm Sunday 25 • Palm Sunday Morning Worship with Mr P Howes, 10.30am • Families @ 4, 4-6pm

WEEKLY EVENTS Monday fortnightly: Little Owls Toddler Group, 10am-noon Tuesday: Weekly Prayer Meeting, 7.30-8.30pm Wednesday: Coffee Morning, 10am-noon / all welcome Thursday: Home Group, 10-11.45am Friday: Children’s Club (primary school age), 6.30-7.30pm Sunday Morning Service: 10.45am-noon

Monday 26: Holy Week Service at the Methodist Church, 7.30pm

For more information contact Michael: 01473 839785

Good Friday 30, 10am: This year the procession behind the cross will start at the Methodist Church, pausing outside the Co-op and then continuing to the parish church. Please join with us for this very special act of public worship.


Tuesday 27: Network/MWiB presentation by Mrs Barbara Girling, 2pm Tuesday 27: Holy Week Service at St Mary’s, 7.30pm Wednesday 28: Holy Week Service at the Methodist Church, 7.30pm Thursday 29: Holy Week Service at St Mary’s, 7.30pm

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CHURCH NEWS ST MARY THE VIRGIN BRAMFORD, ST MARY NETTLESTEAD, ST MARY THE VIRGIN LITTLE BLAKENHAM, ST PETER BAYLHAM Priest-in-Charge: The Rev Jenny Seggar 01473 748914 / Please check porch notices for any changes. Wednesday, 9.30am: Quiet Reflective Communion Service Thursday, March 1 3pm United Service at Cherryfields Sunday, March 4: Lent 3 10am Parish Communion, Bramford 6pm Evening Prayer, Baylham Wednesday, March 7 7pm Lent Group 3, Vicarage Sunday, March 11: Lent 4 / Mothering Sunday 8am Holy Communion, Bramford 10am Parish Communion, Nettlestead Tuesday, March 13 11am Communion from Reserved Sacrament, Baylham Care Centre Wednesday, March 14 7pm Lent Group 4, Vicarage Thursday, March 15 7.30pm Healing Service, Methodist Chapel Saturday, March 17 11am-1pm Book Sale, Church Room Sunday, March 18: Lent 5 10am Parish Communion, Bramford 6pm Parish Communion, Baylham 5pm Five o’clock Service, Bramford Tuesday, March 20 2.30pm The Gathering, Church Room Wednesday, March 21 7.30pm Lent Group 5, Vicarage Thursday, March 22 7pm Jigsaw Evening, Church Room Saturday, March 24 10am-noon Coffee Morning, Church Room Sunday, March 25 Palm Sunday 8am Holy Communion, Bramford 10am Fourth Sunday Service, Bramford Monday, March 26 7pm Evening Service, Methodist Chapel Tuesday, March 27 7pm Evening Service, Bramford Wednesday, March 28 9.30am Communion, Vicarage 7pm Evening Service, Methodist Chapel Thursday, March 29: Maundy Thursday 7pm Communion for Maundy Thursday, Bramford including stripping of altars and Vigil

Dear Friends I hope by the time you read this that spring is well on the way. I am writing this in February watching snow falling outside the vicarage window. Even so, bulbs are pushing their way out of the earth, promising a good show of spring flowers. As I write we are just about to enter Lent, most of which spans March. Lent is a time of austerity and self-examination when we take a serious look at our faith and our lives. It leads us to Good Friday and the foot of the Cross, then on to the burst of glory which is Easter day (on April 1 – yes really!). This is a very special time for Christians as the resurrection changed our relationship with God, giving us access to his grace and forgiveness, and to the promise of eternal life for those who believe in him. These ideas lie right at the core of our faith and allow us to love and forgive others, knowing that God loves and forgives us. During Lent we spend time exploring our faith during the Lent courses. It’s not too late to join in, but there are a number of ways to explore your faith; if you would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us. An update on church security Due to a number of church burglaries over the last few months, including notably Whitton, I would just like to personally reassure you that all our silver and records have been moved to a safe place, so that nothing of value is being kept in the church safe until we are really sure that the danger is over. As a community, you are really good at looking out for your churches; please continue your vigilance. If you see anyone carrying anything suspicious out of the church, or any unusual activity at night, please do not hesitate to contact the police, calling 999 immediately. It is tempting to see theft from a church as being victimless, but actually it affects the whole community. The silver that was stolen from whitton has been used for generations to help them celebrate the joy of their faith – in some of our churches that silver is surprisingly ancient and should stay in its right place, serving the community as it always has. Blessings, Jenny Can you spare a few hours each year? Yes, that’s all it would take if we have some more volunteers to help clean the church. If you are able and interested to help keep our church dusted and swept please contact Stewart: 01473 462231 PARISH REGISTERS Funerals January 17: Lord Blakenham, Nettlestead January 25: Eric Webb, Bramford We extend to their families our sympathy and prayers. Flower Rota: Lent – March 31, Group Effort Floodlighting of the spire of St Mary’s Church January 17: In memory of Philip Stewart’s birthday January 23: In memory of Edgar Backhouse January 30: In memory of Rene Cracknell’s birthday March 24: In memory of Roy Farthing on his 70th birthday If you would like to have the spire floodlit please ring Stewart on 01473 462231. The requested donation is £10 per week. LECTIONARY Bible Readings for our Sunday Worship taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It is good to share the reading of Scripture with Christians – both Catholic and Protestant – across the world. March 4 Exodus 20: 1-17

Lent 3 1Cor. 1: 18-25

Purple John 2: 13-22

March 11 Exodus 20:1-10

Lent 4 2 Cor. 1:3-7

Purple John 19:25-27

Saturday, March 31 5pm Easter Fire Service, Baylham

March 18 Jer. 31:31-34

Lent 5 Hebrews 5: 5-10

Purple John 12:20-33

Sunday, April 1: Easter Sunday 10am Group Communion for Easter, Bramford

March 25 Liturgy of the Palms

Palm Sunday 118:1-2, 19-24

Red Mark 11:1-11

Friday, March 30: Good Friday 10am Procession of Witness & Meditation with the Methodist Church, starting at St Mary’s Bramford


CHURCH NEWS THE CLAYDON GROUP OF CHURCHES The Church of England in Claydon and Barham, Henley and Great Blakenham We offer you a warm welcome to all our events and services. For enquiries about baptisms, weddings and funerals contact Priest-in-Charge: The Rev Carl Melville 01473 833542 / SERVICES IN MARCH Henley Church: every Sunday at 9.30am Barham Church: every Sunday at 10am Gt Blakenham Church: every Sunday at 11am Sunday, March 4: Third Sunday of Lent 8am Holy Communion Barham Church 9.30am Holy Communion Henley Church 10am Holy Communion Barham Church 11am family@blakenham GB Church Sunday, March 11: Forth Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday) 8am Holy Communion Barham Church 9.30am Mothering Sunday Family Service Henley Church 10am Mothering Sunday Family Service Barham Church 11am Mothering Sunday Family Service GB Church Sunday, March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent 8am Holy Communion Barham Church 9.30am Holy Communion Henley Church 10am family@barham Barham Church 11am Holy Communion Gt Blakenham Church For Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services see the blue panel below. All our Easter Day services will have an Easter egg hunt for the children. Lent: God’s Vision for the Church During Lent we prepare ourselves to make room for that something special. Great Blakenham Church, March 4, 11am Henley Church, March 11, 9.30am Barham Church, March 18, 10am Refreshments are available at all of our services. Everyone welcome! NEWS Claydon Church: currently open during daylight hours thanks to our volunteers. If you can spare a few minutes one day a week to open/close the church, please contact The Rev Carl. Sunday’s Cool: Meets on the second and third Sunday of every month in Great Blakenham Parish room from 10.30am (March 11 and 18, April 8 and 15). Stories, games, songs and loads of fun! It’s free – no need to book. Contact Irene for more info: 01449 676567 Holy Conversations: A relaxed home group that meets once a month at The Rectory in Claydon. All are welcome and the group is particularly suitable for those new to church or faith. We discuss all sorts of things from faith to prayer, as well as chat and meet others. Henley Church Services: Please note the new time of church services at Henley (every Sunday at 9.30am) Tots’ Groups: We have tots’ groups attached to each of our churches. Henley Tots meet in Henley church on the first and third Fridays, the Claydon group meets on alternate Thursdays in the village hall and a new Gt Blakenham group meets on the second and fourth Fridays in the Parish Room. See our website for more details. Church APCM (AGM): The annual APCM for Claydon, Barham, Henley and Gt Blakenham will be held on Thursday, March 22 at Henley Community Centre at 7.30pm. The annual report will be on the website the week before.

OTHER SERVICES AND EVENTS MARCH Thursdays 1/8/15/22 Lent Lunch, Barham Church Hall, 12-1.30pm Tuesday 6 Holy Conversations, Rectory, 7pm Saturday 10 Beetle Drive, Henley Church, 6pm Thursday 22 Joint APCM, Henley Community Centre, 7.30pm Saturday 24 Easter Fayre, Gt Blakenham Parish Room, 10am Sunday 25 Palm Sunday and Holy Week (see below) APRIL Sunday 1 Tuesday 3 Saturday 21 Saturday 28

Easter Day Holy Conversations, The Rectory, 7pm Vestry Café, Henley Church, 10.30-1pm Pudding Night, Henley Church, 7.30pm

Further services can be found at: Letter from the vicar I don’t know what you are planning to give up for Lent this year, but I am giving up giving something up! The idea of giving something up for Lent came from the days when Christians would fast during daylight hours in order to spend more time praying or serving the poor and those in need. Today we just give up coffee or chocolate for a short time! I wonder what spare cash we find we have, or what extra time we find ourselves with? How will you use the money or extra time to help others or to draw closer to God? Seriously, I’m giving up Facebook this Lent. I have found I spend a lot of time on it and I’ll be directing that time to reading or praying more. Whatever you’re giving up, don’t do it alone. Come and join us sometime over Lent, Holy Week or Easter and let’s #LiveLent together. The Rev Carl Melville: Facebook &Twitter: The Claydon Group of Churches

EASTER SERVICES AND EVENTS 2018 Palm Sunday, March 25 8am Holy Communion, Barham Church 9.30am Café Church, Henley Church 10am Holy Communion, Barham Church 11am Elevenses@GB, Gt Blakenham Church 4pm Evensong BCP, Henley Church Maundy Thursday, March 29 6pm Agape Meal, Gt Blakenham Parish Room 8pm Holy Communion (optional vigil until midnight), Gt Blakenham Church Good Friday, March 30 9.30am Children’s Workshops, Henley Church 10am Children’s Workshops, Barham Church 3pm Hour at the Cross, Gt Blakenham Church 7pm Candlelit Reflections, Henley Church Holy Saturday, March 31 7pm Easter Vigil with Fire, Barham Church Easter Day, April 1 8am Holy Communion, Barham Church 9.30am Easter All Age Communion, Henley Church 10am Easter All Age Communion, Barham Church 11am Easter All Age Communion, Gt Blakenham Church

Celebrate with us! #LiveLent

HALL BOOKINGS Barham Church Hall: Zoe Groom, 831804 Gt Blakenham Parish Room: Paul Corbett, 830201 Henley Church Vestry: Margaret Gerrard, 831463


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In touch news with great blakenham mar18  
In touch news with great blakenham mar18