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In Touch with Stowmarket


Vol. 19 • Issue No. 2 • NOVEMBER 2013

Tel: 01449 745769 Mob: 07803 173000


& Stowupland

FREE to STOWMARKET & STOWUPLAND 50p where sold Volume 22 • Issue No. 3 • RESIDENTS DECEMBER 2016


30 years experience


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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-oftowners. 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.

NEWS 1st & 3rd STOWMARKET (PHOENIX) SCOUTS CHRISTMAS POST SERVICE Let us deliver your Christmas cards in Stowmarket (inc. Combs Ford), Stowupland and Onehouse and you will be supporting a local youth group. Post your cards together with just 25p per card in one of our collection boxes and we will make sure they are delivered in time for Christmas. You can find our post boxes from Friday, November 25 at: Stowmarket Library Stowmarket Rugby Club Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre M&M Butchers (Stowupland) B&M Store Hughes Tourist Information Centre StowHealth Combs Surgery Cedars Park Community Centre Co-operative (Combs Ford) Cedarwood Veterinary Practice The last date for collection is Wednesday, December 14. Please remember to fully address your cards. We will not deliver to addresses outside the areas indicated above. For more details of our service, or if you would like us to collect cards specifically from your organisation, please contact Dave Newbery: 01449 672344 / 07889 137783

Stowmarket In Touch with & Stowupland In Touch with Stowmarket & Stowupland is published by: Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd, 20 Wharfedale Road, Ipswich IP1 4JP Editor: Sharon Jenkins Email:

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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. 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. Whilst 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.

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Andrew Bingham Independent Funeral Service which opened in November 2006 is marking 10 years of serving the local communities of Stowmarket, Needham Market and surrounding areas. Since opening, the company has grown and has not only had the need to relocate to The Nutshell on Milton Road South, Stowmarket, but has also had the need to extend the premises in 2015. The company is very much community focused and has raised several thousands of pounds for various local charities.                                          

Over the weekend of Friday, December 2 to Sunday 4, Christchurch, Needham Market IP6 8AP is hosting a Christmas Festival displaying Amazing Angels, Stupendous Stars, Marvellous Mangers and Tremendous Trees. There is to be a seasonal concert on the evening of Friday 2 at 7.30pm. Festival opening times are 10am-5pm on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 and noon-5pm on Sunday 4 (following Morning Worship Café Style at 10.30am). Refreshments available throughout. Free entry, but donations welcome.

Speaking about reaching the milestone of 10 years, Mrs Bingham said: “We are very proud of what the business has achieved and not only feel privileged to have supported more than 1,000 families but feel humbled by the support and loyalty shown by the local community.” Andrew and Heidi’s focus for their business has been to achieve and maintain high standards while delivering a highly personal and caring service, often going the extra mile. The company is very proud to have twice been named the best funeral planner in the eastern area at the Funeral Planner of the Year Awards run by market leading funeral plan provider Golden Charter. Mr Bingham added: “None of this could’ve been achieved without the support of our dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us almost from the beginning.”

STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL: ROAD CLOSURES Saturday, December 10: SnowFiesta Christmas Market, 7am-7pm Roads closed: Ipswich Street from the junction with Milton Road South to Station Road West

REPORT FROM KEITH WELHAM, NOVEMBER 2016 District Councillor for Stowupland and Creeting St Peter It’s proving very difficult to find out any details of the move of Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Council offices to Endeavour House in Ipswich. Little snippets are heard, much of it contradictory. A local Conservative councillor has said that there will be satellite offices at Eye, Needham and Stowmarket, but the leaders of the Babergh and Mid Suffolk administrations have both said that there will be only one point of contact for residents in each district. We have heard that it is likely that district council and planning committee meetings would be held in village halls and other places. I am concerned about the logistics and cost of setting up for these meetings, but suitable meeting spaces may not be available in Endeavour House. One of the recent actions of the Conservative administration is to do away with the cross-party Programme Steering Boards which had the potential of being a relatively informal discussion group to review progress against strategic priorities and offer advice. These have been replaced by a number of theme boards made up solely of Conservative members. They do not meet in public and have no press or opposition members in attendance. We have no opportunity to keep residents informed or provide any input. Opposition councillors do not oppose Conservative proposals for the sake of opposing them. We prefer to work with portfolio holders and officers to achieve what is best for the residents of Mid Suffolk, keeping you all informed and feeding back comments and suggestions. Some work may still be carried out by specific task and finish groups and I have been nominated to be a member of the group to develop a Strategic Leisure Strategy. This will include indoor and outdoor sports and informal play as well as built leisure facilities. I have mentioned in the past how user unfriendly the separate Babergh and Mid Suffolk websites have been and how difficult it is for residents and, in particular, parish clerks to get in touch with officers and obtain up-todate information. I’m pleased that the two districts have launched a draft version of their new website and it can be viewed via


uk by clicking on the ‘new website’ tab. Please take a look and let me have your comments. It’s due to go fully live and replace the existing separate websites at the end of 2016 or early in 2017. There is an extreme shortage of emergency bed and breakfast and temporary accommodation in Mid Suffolk for individuals, couples or families who are made homeless for whatever reason. We have recently seen a family evicted from their rented home in Stowmarket and placed in B&B accommodation in Ipswich because there was nowhere in Mid Suffolk for them to go. As a result of questions raised at the recent district council meeting, officers have been instructed to come up with a strategy for providing for people made homeless in our area. This is vital and urgent as we have a decreasing number of council owned properties and benefit cuts and the introduction of Universal Credit could well result in an increasing number of families being unable to pay rent. Devolution has not gone away – or has it? I cannot see the government forcing the reluctant Norfolk districts into a devolution agreement and Norfolk County Council appear to be reconsidering their position. So we have to wait to see what is on offer from the government. They seem reluctant to give devolved powers to a single county but did so for Cornwall. A district council meeting will be held at Needham Market on November 21 to consider any offer that might then be on the table. There is still no date for planning committee to consider the application for 18 new homes on land fronting A1120 Church Road, opposite the church in Stowupland. Planning officers tell me that they are anticipating an application for housing on land adjacent to the field which is the site of the undecided application for 75 houses on land to the north of B1115 and west of Thorney Green Road in Stowupland. In the meantime an extension of time for deciding the original application has been granted so that it is unlikely to go to committee until next year, possibly in February. Keith Welham: 01449 673185 /

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Other Property & Refurbishment Works Undertaken


NEWS STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL Stowmarket Town Council strives to maintain the cemetery on Violet Hill Road as a place of peace, tranquillity and remembrance for the enjoyment of all. In the busy town of Stowmarket the cemetery provides an oasis of calm and serenity and has become a haven for a wide variety of native flora and fauna. The newer sections of the cemetery, D, E and F, were designated as lawn cemeteries meaning that all graves within these sections are to be grassed with no ornamental items being placed upon them. In order for Stowmarket Town Council to manage and maintain the cemetery more effectively in the future, we respectfully request that any such items be removed by the deed of grant holder. These items may include, but are not limited to, vases, kerb sets, statues, stones and shrubs and plants. Please note that any items that have not been removed by February 27, 2018, will be removed from the cemetery by the town council and the grave spaces will be returned to lawn. Any items removed will be stored for a period of one year after which they will be disposed of. Michael Marriot, operations and estates manager at Stowmarket Town Council states: “We recognise the sensitivity surrounding this request. Increasingly however, the range of personal items has grown over time, which in addition to impacting upon the overall aesthetics of the cemetery also significantly adds to the time taken to mow around specific plots.” Thank you for your co-operation in this matter. Should you have any further questions or queries please contact Michael Marriott at the town council to discuss the matter further: 01449 612060 / MARKET UPDATE The town council are fervently of the view the market contributes positively to the diversity and appeal of the town centre and, working together with market traders, are actively exploring a range of opportunities to further stimulate the appeal of the market. Some of the options currently being explored include: •

Re-generating a market Facebook page with regular updates and monthly reports from the market warden, Jerry Humphreys

Raising the profile of the farmers market with increased publicity

Other initiatives will be discussed with traders in the coming weeks and months.

Market Fees The town council has agreed to keep rental fees at the same level for the seventh consecutive year, making Stowmarket extremely competitive in comparison to other markets. Given ongoing operational and electricity costs, there will be a very small increase with effect from April 1, 2017 in the cost of a van and power supply, which are as follows: Van fees: £5.10 (increase of 1.9%) Electric fees: £3.99 (increase of 1.3%) If you have any ideas or suggestions to enhance the appeal of the market, please contact Michael Marriott: 01449 612060 /


HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR RAISES MONEY FOR CHARITY On Friday, October 28 a Halloween Spooktacular took place at Cedars Park Community Centre in Stowmarket in memory of Sarah-Jane Cunningham (nee Firman) which raised more than £1,300 for the mental illness charity SANE. Sarah-Jane (38), known as SJ, passed away in July following a long battle with depression and anxiety. SJ was always the liveliest of people and wore the biggest smile, but underneath it was a totally different story. She was very good at putting on a brave face, which is why all her friends and family were so shocked when she overdosed at the end of July. She had a good job, a nice home, a husband, family and friends who loved her very much, but it just wasn’t enough to help her escape the black dog of depression. Sarah-Jane’s sister, Kim Dodd, decided that something good had to come from the terrible loss of her sister so with the help of her mum, Carla Firman, and brother, Ben Firman, she decided to set about raising money for SANE. SANE helps raise awareness of mental illnesses and works towards removing the stigma associated with them. Mental illnesses like depression are all too often swept under the carpet or talked about in a hushed voice, but they are far more common than people realise with one in four of us being affected by mental illness at some point in our lives. The Halloween party held in Sarah-Jane’s home town was not only a way to raise money for this important cause, but an opportunity for SJ’s nearest and dearest to say a fond farewell to her in the way that she would have wanted them to. The evening raised more than £1,300 through ticket sales, a raffle and donations. The raffle alone raised £500 and we thank the following businesses for their donations: All Over Beauty, Bella Art, Cineworld, Brome Grange Hotel, Eastern Angles, Easton Farm Park, EmZo, Glasswells, Go Ape!, High Lodge, Ivy Joan, John Peel Centre, NRG Fitness, Molls & Dolls, Kellys Cabs, Norma Burch, Moreton Hall Health Club, Muntons, The Regal, Snakes & Ladders, The Ickworth, Ufford Park Woodbridge, The English Whiskey Company, The Assembly Rooms, The Self Centre and the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. This money along with other donations made by friends and family, brings the total raised in Sarah-Janes memory to £3,670. SJ’s family stated: “We have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity that we have seen over the past months, not only the financial donations that people have made but the support that they have given us through this difficult time. We hope that this money raised will be able to help others who suffer like our SJ before it’s too late for them.” If you would like to donate to this cause, SJ’s god-daughter Jenna-Rose, aged just 10, and her mum Nikkie Palmer are taking part in the Inflatable Santa Run on December 3 at Trinity Park in Ipswich and can be sponsored at: For further details contact Kim Dodd: 07736 282180 /

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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 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/

STOWMARKET WARDS Providing Skills for Business and Opportunities for our Young People Mid Suffolk’s Conservative and Independent Group Councillors recognise the need for housing growth – the right housing types in the right places to provide homes both affordable and to purchase for those needing them. Alongside housing growth we are also clear about the need for more employment opportunities locally, coupled with attracting businesses to the area that will provide good jobs and take-home pay prospects. Businesses attracted to our area will certainly be looking for a skills base amongst our young people as well as older workers. Without that potential within the area, their interest will be lost. It is therefore good to be able to report that Mid Suffolk together with Babergh District Council are actively engaged in providing funding to help raise the aspirations of young people and to help them realise their full potential. This is being done in a number of ways. The Navigation Project This project was launched in October. Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are working in partnership with Connect Education Business who will lead the project. Connect Education Business will work with business and together they will be going into schools in order to provide students with the opportunity to think about and discuss their future aspirations. They will support young people to better understand themselves; help them realise that they can achieve skills and aptitudes that will allow them to make better choices for their options and what they might wish to do post 16. The focus for the team this year will be on Year 9 students which will offer them an extra year to consider their futures. Seven schools within the two districts are already signed up to the project. The ICanBea Platform The ICanBea website – – was also officially launched in October. This is a Suffolk-wide platform for young people to explore career options available locally. The website has information from a number of local businesses and organisations, providing an insight into what they do and the kinds of careers they offer. You can listen to young mentors who work in the business talking about their working experiences. For some young people, the thought of what type of job they will go into can be a daunting challenge. The ICanBea website gives them an easy to access way to develop their ideas for future career


options at their own pace. Through the site, they are able to understand more about something they believe might be of interest to them. We feel confident this digital platform will be a positive step for our young people. MYGO Youth Employment Centre The Mid Suffolk contract with MYGO operates out of the Mix in Stowmarket. Working in partnership with Job Centre Plus, MYGO (http:// provides a youth employment service for young people aged 16 to 24. The service is open to all young people in that age range whatever their circumstance. From university graduates who haven’t been able to find work yet to those who perhaps have some difficulty in their lives and need support to find work. MYGO also supports young people in work who wish to advance their careers and prospects to find better employment opportunities. MYGO has a good success rate and recently worked with B&M Retail to find staff for their new store in Stowmarket. MYGO started its Stowmarket service in August 2015 and since then has registered 456 young people from the Mid Suffolk area. Of these, 126 were referred by Job Centre Plus, 71 were in education or employment and the remaining 259 young people (who were not claiming out of work benefits or in education or employment) went to MYGO of their own accord. While being cautious over statistics, we do know that a sustained progression is measured as six months in work or training following attachment to the service and of those who have been attached to Stowmarket long enough to measure this outcome, 33% have achieved it. Certainly for those young people accessing the service this is a clear indicator that it offers something that is very welcome and achieves positive outcomes for them. Sustained economic prosperity relies on a vibrant business climate. To secure this we must do everything we can to build the skills and opportunities for local young people. These projects will help to create opportunities both for our young people and for our employers who are keen to develop and grow their businesses in our area and beyond. Gerard Brewster, MSDC Portfolio Holder for Business Growth and Productivity on behalf of the Conservative & Independent Councillors for Stowmarket Wards

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Remembering together this Christmas 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. Because they are the local Co-op for the East of England, they work hard to support the community by helping local groups and initiatives as well as partnering with good causes and charities. This Christmas the East of England Co-op will be hosting a carol concert on Wednesday 7th December at 7.30pm at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. All are welcome to attend, with a performance from the Co-op Singers. To book your place call 01449 612765.

Carol Concert

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

Paul Bowen Featuring Co-op Singers

Join us to remember loved ones this Christmas To book your place call

01449 612765

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ALLERGY THERAPIST at StowHealth (Violet Hill) Testing for food, environmental and chemical sensitivities – as well as vitamin and mineral deficiences which can cause unpleasant symptoms and illnesses.

For an appointment contact Helen Parsons Dip Allergy Therapy, Food Studies Cert.Ed, B.I.A.E.T.

Tel: 01531 670746 Are you in pain? Chiropractic may help with many problems including lower back pain, neck pain and related headaches as well as arm and leg pain.


Needham Market Opticians Gail Gordon-Brown, BSc FCOptom We will make your visit an enjoyable one.

102 High Street, Needham Market IP6 8DG Tel: 01449 723180

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WHY ZEBRAS DON’T GET ULCERS Unless you are a child, the lead up to Christmas is normally pretty busy and stressful for most. Buying presents, battling crowds, finding parking spaces, spending hours writing cards, making time to meet friends you only see once a year to paying for it all; it’s no wonder that by December 25 all you want to do is crash in a heap and consume huge amounts. It’s very easy during the build-up for the usual exercise routines go out the window due to lack of time, or in rushing around its easier to drive into town or dash to the shops rather than walk. That might not seem a huge deal, but it can have some big issues for the body. The subtle way stress affects us is often overlooked. Most think of stress as being massive life events or work hassle, but our bodies are constantly under life stressors; a change in temperature as we walk outside has to be regulated by the body, the immune system fighting off a potential bug or that deadline which has to be made. The same chemicals which the body releases to help us out of a stressful situation can then be harmful to us if left on for long periods. Our stress chemicals help sharpen our senses, mobilise sugar and fat into the bloodstream and block out discomfort from extreme muscle effect to get us out of trouble in an emergency. It’s fine if they are ‘turned on and off’ in a short period of time – the system is designed to work like this. Keep them on for a long time and that’s when the problems start. That extra sugar and fat in the bloodstream can lead to deposits which clog up the vessels, the immune system can run low and the mind overworking can make us forgetful and tense. Our stress response is one which is designed to work for short periods – helping us escape a dangerous situation. This is why Zebras don’t get ulcers as they only need to turn on their stress response to get away from a lion. They don’t need to worry about getting the report into the boss on time, looking after elderly relatives or paying off the credit card bills. Exercise is a great way to counter stress; it uses up that sugar and fat that you dumped into the bloodstream, therefore not allowing it to block your arteries. It generally makes you feel better and reduces your perceived feelings of stress. It can reduce levels of muscular tension which can be a great cause of pain in people. We are normally encouraged to start new exercise routines in January and start the New Year as we mean to go on. How about getting a head start this year, not letting the lead up to Christmas put you off track? Ring fence some time in your diary to spend 30 minutes three to five times per week doing some physical activity you wish to do – run, gym or even dance your way around the present wrapping this year.

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

You might be surprised how much better you feel in that week leading up to Christmas and give yourself a fantastic platform for 2017 to be a healthier and less stressful year.

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An exciting tale of murder and mystery set in a fictional coastal Suffolk town is being published on December 18, just in time for Christmas.

SODS’ sparkling production of Sinbad & The Magical Mystery will run for seven performances at The Regal Theatre, Stowmarket, from Wednesday, December 7 to Sunday 11, a week earlier than in recent years. Evening performances are at 7.30pm on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with matinees at noon and 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. For the past five years, SODS’ pantomimes have enjoyed sell-out success so book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment. Tickets are still available for most performances from The Regal Theatre box office: 01449 612825 / 

Written and independently published by Andrew Hixson, Death is For Dying takes place in Oxmarket and once again features his lateral thinking consulting detective, John Handful. Local businessman Archie Andrews tries the new cologne his new girlfriend gave him for his birthday. He goes out to get some food for his birthday party and is later found dead near the vicinity of his apiary. With no clues, no suspects and no idea how he died, Suffolk Constabulary call their consulting lateral thinking private detective to assist them in their investigation. However, John Handful has a conflict of interests. The new girlfriend of the victim happens to be his ex, Kimberley Ashlyn Gere. This is the third novel in the successful John Handful series. The previous novels, Blind Spot and The Oxmarket Aspal Murder Mystery, are still available in both paperback and e-book format from Amazon. You can pre-order the e-book version for Death is For Dying before December 18 at half price.

HELP FAMILY TO ADAPT HOME FOR DAUGHTER Tianna Houslop has been suffering from severe epileptic seizures daily since she was three months old in September 2013. Sadly, her therapists have found nothing to help her so far and her family is now focused on adapting their downstairs living area into a bedroom and shower room for Tianna. Tianna’s mum Rosa explains: “Tianna is getting bigger day-by-day, so much so it is becoming difficult to take her upstairs. As a result we have been awarded a DFG (Disabled Facilities Grant) for adaptations to be made to the ground floor of our family home and we have secured additional funding on top of the DFG, but still have a shortfall of £6,000. “We have paid the architects fees and have put the build out to tender and have a builder ready to start the work but he cannot do so until the shortfall is fulfilled. That is what we are hoping to achieve on our Just Giving page. Even if you are not in a position to give yourself please share this with family and friends and work colleagues.” If you’d like to support Tianna and her family please go to: https:// termREgp424yj Or the shorter link to:

CAROLS FOR ALL The annual Christmas charity concert Carols for All takes place on Wednesday, December 7 at Stowmarket United Reformed Church at 7pm. Those taking part include Stowmarket bands and singers, a school choir and guest soloists. Many consider this one of the best Christmas events in town. Over the years thousands of pounds have been raised for local charities. Tickets are £5 and available from Xpert Stationers, 15 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket. Come and support this event.


It’s a traditional pantomime, full of slapstick, silly jokes and songs to delight the whole family. Dragunda, the meanest magician in the world, wishes to rule the universe, but to do so must obtain three different feathers from three different birds on three mystical islands. However, only someone honest, pure and true can undertake such a task – which is where Sinbad comes in.

Callum Limer as Mrs Sinbad and Kenny Sayer as Cap’n Pugh

Dragunda kidnaps Princess Yasmin, the love of Sinbad’s life, and will only release her when Sinbad has captured all three feathers. Along the way Sinbad, his mum Mrs Sinbad, plus Cap’n Pugh and his crew (who look incredibly like Teletubbies) encounter all sorts of adventures. Come and join in the fun and frolics, with plenty of chances to cheer and boo the zany characters in true family panto fashion – it’s the perfect way to begin your Christmas celebrations. For more information visit:

STOWMARKET CHORALE – UPCOMING CONCERTS Stowmarket Chorale is inviting parents and children to join them for an exciting performance of Alexander L’Estrange’s Ahoy!, a stirring collection of music based on lively sea shanties cleverly intertwined with Tudor songs and original music including a new setting of Full Fathom Five from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The music commemorates the tragic and inspiring story of the celebrated ship The Mary Rose, the flagship of King Henry VIII’s navy that, after a 34-year career, sank in 1545 while leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet. More than 400 years later, the wreck of The Mary Rose was famously raised in 1982. The concert will feature a children’s choir and there are already children from several local schools involved, but we would welcome more children along with their parents for a wonderful experience singing together. Adult singers are very welcome with or without children. The concert will be on February 25 and rehearsals start in January. For further information please contact Lucy Dawson on 01359 240676 or visit: Tickets are also now on sale for our Christmas concert on December 10, a delightful evening featuring music from Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and lots of other Christmas music and carols. Again, visit the website or contact Lucy Dawson for details.

In Touch online:



CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR! Come and see us in store on Saturday 3rd December and 15% OFF all Christmas gifts and accessories

CHARRINGTONS FURNITURE WAREHOUSE 01449 675845 Open: Monday to Saturday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Charringtons Yard, Stowmarket, IP14 1EQ (near the train station / the old coal yard)


NEWS STOWMARKET CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL 2016 This year there will be more than 400 fantastic Christmas Trees on display throughout The Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Town Centre. They are decorated by local groups and businesses as well as individuals. It is a community event by the community for the community so do go and be amazed. There is no entrance charge although donations are encouraged.

Fri, Nov 25 (town lights switched on in Market Place)

The Parish Church

Abbot’s Hall

Doors open at 5.45pm for 6pm opening ceremony. Entertainment from The Kettle Girls. Lights switched on by Jon Wright from BBC Radio Suffolk.

10am-late See the trees and other exhibits Christmas Craft Fayre in the Tithe Barn

Sat, Nov 26

9am-5pm / café open

10am-4pm See the trees and other exhibits

Sat, Nov 26 at The Parish Church

*9am-noon Indoor Boot Sale 10am-2pm Jenny’s Ark with live animals from the first Nativity 10am-4pm Open / refreshments served Noon-2pm Live music 1-1.30pm Christmas Tree Fun Run registration in St Peter’s Hall. No charge to run, no need to book. Contact Heidi: 07921 923365 2-3pm Bells to be rung in the tower 3-4pm Stowmarket Strummers 7.30pm Festival Concert with Stowmarket Combined Churches Choir & Woodbridge Excelsior Band. Interval with wine and refreshments. Adults £7.50, school age children £2. Tickets from the church office and the TIC.

Sun, Nov 27 at The Parish Church

10am Festival Communion Service 10.30am-noon Messy Church for ages 3-9 in St Peter’s Hall 12.15pm Open to see the trees, Christmas cake & mince pies served 1-4pm Carols on the hour 6pm Stowmarket Churches Together Advent Carol Service. Collection to the mayor’s chosen charities.

Mon, Nov 28

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Cedars Park & Combs Ford Primary Schools

Tue, Nov 29

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Chilton and Wood Ley Primary Schools

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Wed, Nov 30

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Abbots Hall Primary School & Stowmarket Concert Band (training band)

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Thu, Dec 1

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served Noon Communion Service, Memorial Chapel** 6pm Trinity CEVA Primary School, Simply Brass Youth Band & Freeman Primary

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Fri, Dec 2

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 7.15pm Gipping Valley Rotary Club Concert with Wattisham Military Wives Choir & Rock School Choir

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Sat, Dec 3

*9am-noon Indoor Boot Sale Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 10.30am-noon Children’s Crafts

Open 10am-4pm Christmas trees on sale. Staff in Victorian costume leading Christmas talks and crafts. Santa in his grotto.

Sun, Dec 4 at The Parish Church

9am Communion Service 10.45am Family Service Open 12.15-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Scout’s District Carol Service

Mon, Dec 5

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 1.30-3pm School rehearsal**

Tue, Dec 6

Until 11.30am School rehearsal** Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Wed, Dec 7

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 1.30-3.30pm School Carol Service**

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm Open to see the 9am-5pm / café open

Thu, Dec 8

10am-4pm Open / refreshments served Noon Communion Service, Memorial Chapel**

Open 10am-4om

9am-5pm / café open

Fri, Dec 9

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open


9am-5pm / café open

9am-5pm / café open

In Touch online:

NEWS Sat, Dec 10 Snow-Fiesta in the town center Sun, Dec 11 at The Parish Church

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 4-5.30pm St Mary’s Hall, Silverdale Road, Family Fun for Christmas – seasonal activities for families to do together. 7.30pm Simply Brass Concert

Open 10am-4pm Christmas trees on sale. Staff in Victorian costume leading Christmas talks and crafts. Santa in his grotto.

10am-2pm Indoor Christmas Market in partnership with SnowFiesta with festive stalls selling gifts and treats, enjoy barista coffee, lunch & snacks and Cabbages & Kings Café

9am Communion Service / 10.45am Family Communion Service Open 12.15-4pm / refreshments served 4pm Christingle Service – make your own Christingle to take home.

Mon, Dec 12

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Tue, Dec 13

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Wed, Dec 14

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Thu, Dec 15

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served Noon Communion Service in the Memorial Chapel*

Open 10am-4pm

9am-6pm / café open

Fri, Dec 16

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Sat, Dec 17

10am-4pm Open / refreshments served 6.30pm St Elizabeth Hospice Light up a Life Carol Service

Open 10am-4pm Christmas trees on sale. Staff dressed in Victorian costume leading Christmas talks and crafts. Santa will be in his grotto.

Sun, Dec 18 at The Parish Church

9am Communion Service / 10.45am Morning Worship 12.15-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Town Carol Service. Collection to the mayor’s chosen charities, refreshments provided by Stowmarket Town Council.

Mon, Dec 19

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

9am-5pm / café open Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

9am-5pm / café open

Tue, Dec 20

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Wed, Dec 21

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

9am-5pm / café open

Thu, Dec 22

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served Noon Communion Service, Memorial Chapel**

Open 10am-4pm

Fri, Dec 23

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Open 10am-4pm

Sat, Dec 24 Christmas Eve

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served 6pm Crib Service especially for children 11.30pm Midnight Communion

Sun, Dec 25 Christmas Day

10am Family Communion Service

Mon, Dec 26 to Sat, Dec 31

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

Sun, Jan 1 New Year’s Day

10am Communion Service Open noon-4pm / refreshments served

Mon, Jan 2

Open 10am-4pm / refreshments served

* Indoor Boot Sale in St Peter’s Hall with refreshments. To book a table (£5) call: 01449 678623 **Limited access to the trees For the latest information and opening times – 01449 774652/678623



In the July edition we promoted a sale of fabric under the headline Join the Fight against Dementia which was organised to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Well, we are pleased to report that the event held at Stitch x Stitch in Stowmarket on Saturday, July 30 raised £1,350.

We wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2017. Networking and a little Christmas shopping?

Liz Tubby organised the sale of her mum’s secret stash of sewing items which she was no longer able to use due to dementia. It was Liz’s hope to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society so that others might benefit from their help and research. Elaine Green of Stitch x Stitch provided the venue and people were queuing around the corner before the doors even opened. Just about everything was sold and Liz wishes to thank everyone who supported the event and helped to raise such a fantastic sum, and especially Val, Jackie and Julie who helped make it all happen.


Come and browse the stalls at our coffee morning at Red Gables in Stowmarket on Thursday, December 8, 10am-noon. Or join us for Christmas Lunch at Stowmarket Golf Club on Friday, December 16, noon-2pm You can book online at:

Unfortunately Liz’s mum died earlier this year so knowing that others will use her fabric and sewing items is especially poignant now.




The last indoor boot sales of the year will be held in St Peter’s Hall (next to the library) on Saturdays, November 26 and December 3, 9am-noon.

Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket December 3, 10am

Band to play carols at Tesco

December 4 12.30pm 3pm

Young Peoples Band at Needham Market Band at Hitcham Village Hall

December 6, 2pm

Over 60s Carol Service

Cara-Lea’s sell out Christmas show at The Regal brings another busy year to an end. The matinee and evening performances on Saturday, December 3 will be well supported by friends and family with a mix of beginners and advance dancers showcasing their hard work and dedication.

December 7, 7pm

Carols for All at URC – Tickets from Xpert Stationers

December 10, 10am

Band to play carols in the Market Place

The school has been involved in many exciting and challenging events this year with in-house workshops and I.S.T.D exam days with 99% from a number of students and grade As (Distinction) for our grade work. We are also very proud that some of our youngest students from our Little Starz pre-school class took their first medals. Other students have competed in area competitions with finalists dancing at the grand national finals in October against the best in the country.

December 11 11am 4pm

Young Peoples Carol & Toy Service Messy Church – A Candy Cane Christmas

December 12, 7pm

Band at Emergency Services Carol Service in Bury Cathedral

December 13, 7pm

Songsters at Baylham Care Centre

Once all the costumes, make-up and tinsel are packed away, we will be looking forward to a busy 2017 with exam results due from the latest examination session, dance workshops in February half term and new London shows on the way.

December 14, 7.30pm

Live Lounge at Costa Coffee

December 15

Young Peoples Band at Target Club

December 17 10am 7pm

Band to play carols at Asda, Ipswich Songsters at Onehouse Community Centre

Come along and finish your Christmas shopping and enjoy the bacon butties and delicious homemade refreshments.


Our next dance workshop is on Wednesday, February 15 at our studio in NRG Stowmarket from 1-4pm. The workshop is aimed at boys and girls aged six plus. Come along and learn some cool choreography to current tracks. Please contact us to book your place. UV DISCO: Thursday, February 16 at NRG Dance Studios from 5-7pm – fun, games and all the right moves.

December 18 Morning Young Peoples Band at Care Homes 5.30pm Candlelight Carol Service – come early December 21, 7.30pm

Band at Old School / Partridge Court

The school runs classes for ages three plus at NRG in Stowmarket and also in Woolpit, Haughley and Debenham. We specialise in freestyle dance, street, rock ‘n’ roll and slow lyrical. All teachers are I.S.T.D qualified.

December 22, 6.30pm Young Peoples Band and singing group at Mere View home December 24, 10am

Band to play carols in the Market Place

If you’d like to try one of our classes please contact us: 01449 614006 /

December 25, 10.30am

Christmas Day Service – tea/coffee & mince pies from 9.30am


We would love to see you.

With Mid Suffolk Brass and Simply Brass Mid Suffolk Brass would like to invite you to a joint Christmas Concert with Simply Brass at St Peter’s and St Mary’s Church, Stowmarket on Saturday, December 10 at 7pm. Adults £5, accompanied children free. Tickets are available at Stowmarket Tourist Information Centre (near Asda) or on the door. You can also contact us via our Facebook page or: We have moved the location of our practices to Wood Ley School, Lowry Way, Stowmarket IP14 1UF, but still on Monday evenings at 7.45pm. Come along and join us; we need new players and we are a really friendly bunch who like to have fun and play all sorts of brass music.

COLOURS OF CHRISTMAS Join the Jubilee Ladies Choir with conductor Simon Welham and accompanist Calvin Goymer for an evening of seasonal music on Saturday, December 3 at 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Stowmarket. Proceeds will go to charity and choir funds. There will be light refreshments and a raffle Tickets are £7.50 from 01449 736374/723424 or at the door.

ST MARY’S CHURCH CRIB FESTIVAL Once again St Mary’s Church, Combs, is holding its annual not-tobe-missed Crib Festival. The church will be decorated to its capacity with colourful and artistic displays from five Stowmarket schools in addition to nurseries and uniformed groups. St Mary’s will be open for viewing the displays on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December from 10am to 4pm. There will be loads of craft activities for children, a dress up nativity scene and refreshments will be served. Bishop Mike Harrison will be leading our grand opening on Friday, December 2 at 6pm. There is something for everyone, so why not come along and start celebrating Christmas with us? For more information email:

Follow the choir on Facebook.


In Touch online:



A Loving & Caring Alternative to Kennels


 Would you like to be one of our dog carers? 

 Do you love dogs?

 Are you at home during the day? 

 Do you have a secure garden? 

 Do you want a fun and flexible way to earn extra income? 

Come and join the PetStay family and look forward to  welcoming some delightful  doggy guests into your home!  

Suffolk Branch

Contact us  today for an informal chat

01473 845300

07918 531516


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OUT & ABOUT THE REGAL IN DECEMBER Christmas is fantastic at The Regal with great live shows, the much loved annual pantomime and blockbuster films that bring the whole family to the cinema together. Neil Sands brings his all new Christmas show to The Regal on December 2. We’ll have lots of very proud parents on December 3 when we present Cara-Lea Dance Studio’s end of year showcase and we have an evening of wonderful country music on December 12 when John McNicholl pays us a visit. Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society (SODS) staging their new family pantomime, Sinbad and the Magical Mystery, from December 7-11; book now as this will be very popular. It’s also a great month for event cinema. Following last month’s sell out showing, we have the encore screening of the 25th anniversary performance of Miss Saigon on December 2 and the ever popular Andre Rieu at Christmas is on screen on December 14. Live streamed from the National Theatre and staring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, we’re very excited about our showing of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land on December 15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: adventure starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell. The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before

STOWMARKET ARTISAN MARKET Our Christmas Market on Saturday, December 3 will have 18 stalls selling a variety of crafts and products, many which will be Christmas related so come along and buy that extra stocking filler or decoration. Our cake stall this month will be run by Mairi Burnett who is raising funds for her trip to Ecuador where she will be working on an environmental project in the Amazon rainforest, helping renovate a school in a village in the Andes and turtle conservation on the pacific coast – a worthy cause so please come and support her.

Harry Potter reads his books in school. A Street Cat Named Bob: drama starring Luke Treadaway, Joanne Froggatt and Anthony Head. Based on the international bestselling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: adventure starring Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen. The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow. We have a midnight screening of Rogue One on December 15, an absolute must for any REAL Star Wars fans. Moana: animated adventure voiced by Dwayne Johnson and Nicole Scherzinger. Brand new from Disney Animation. A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui. We had a record breaking 8,000 visitors during December 2015, but with the films and shows we have on offer this year, something tells me we could be smashing that record. Happy Christmas Stowmarket

DISPLAY OF NATIVITY SCENES AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH Holy Trinity Church in Stowupland (IP14 4BQ) will, for the first time, be showing a collection of Christmas nativity scenes from countries around the world and from local families. The church will be open for viewing on Wednesday, December 14 from 2.30-5pm and 6.30-8pm, Thursday 15 from 2.30-5pm, Friday 16 from 2.30-5pm and 6.30-8pm, and Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 from 1-4pm. Christmas refreshments will be available.

Other stalls include Flatland Photography, The Cake Stand Lady, the Folding Fairy, Val’s Vases, the ever popular Jill’s Knits and plenty of jewellery, textiles and many more crafts. Refreshments as usual will be by the Scout fundraising committee with tea/coffee and cake just £1.


The Scout Centre is in Milton Road North, just past the library, and there is accessible parking nearby. We are open from 10am-1.30pm.

The Paris Opera, 1895. Young soprano Christine Daae and her childhood sweetheart Raoul are made for each other, but the mysterious Phantom that haunts the opera house is madly in love with her too. Deep in the cavernous bowels of the building he is hatching an evil plot. But meanwhile, “as cluck would have it”, something else is hatching in his eggsistential nest.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, December 3 and since this will be our last market until April 1, 2017 we would like to thank all our customers for their support throughout year. Sue Delf, 01449 613224 Facebook: Stowmarket Artisan Market

STOWMARKET LOCAL HISTORY GROUP Monday, December 19: The Class of 63 – the Earl Stonham Charity School and Master of 1763 By Pip Wright Monday, January 16: From Box to Track by Andrew Denny

PHANTOM BANTAM OF THE OPERA By Pat Whymark and Julian Harries

This year we’re really mixing up our genres – combining the gothic splendours of Gaston Leroux’s classic tale, Edgar Allen Poe’s early detective horror, Murders in the Rue Morgue, mysterious tales of the east such as W W Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw and J Milton Hayes’ The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, and not forgetting the classic Mating and Breeding of Poultry by Harry M Lamon. Join us as we ruffle the feathers of this classic yarn – and be prepared for a chicken-y twist in the tale.

For further details contact Jeannette Baldry: 01449 675271

Performance schedule: The John Peel Centre, Stowmarket (December 23 & 24), St Mary’s Hall, Walton (December 27 & 28), Bredfield Village Hall (December 29 & 30), Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh (January 1 & 2) and the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich (January 4-8).

For further details visit:

Meetings are held at 7.30pm at The Salvation Army Hall, Violet Hill Road. Members £1, non-members £3.


F. G. BROWN – OPTICIANS Denmark House, 41 Bury Street, Stowmarket

Harts Homebrew & CRAFTS Large selection of unusual gifts with lots of unusual ideas for that perfect Christmas present. You are welcome to browse. Tel: 01449 675918 20 BURY ST, STOWMARKET


Tel: 01449 612812/674030 As independent opticians we offer a more personalised eyecare service that you can trust for all the family including:– Optomap retinal examination A wide range of competitively priced frames and spectacle lenses Contact lenses Prescription and non-prescription sunglasses

Your sight care is our priority

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Admiral Nelson is remembered in Stowmarket The Battle of Trafalgar may have taken place on October 21, 1805, but every year since every Royal Navy ship or establishment has continued with the custom of holding a mess dinner to celebrate a British victory over the combined French and Spanish fleet during the Napoleonic Wars and to honour Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who died in battle on board his flagship HMS Victory.

We welcomed Phil Chatfield to judge open competition (1) on October 10. Members pulled out all the stops and shared some fantastic pictures, several of which were awarded full marks by the judge.

Two hundred and eleven years later, to the day, Stowmarket Royal Naval Association held its inaugural Trafalgar Night Dinner with 54 guests sitting down to a traditional roast beef dinner. The evening saw all the guests take part in some ‘mess games’, which helped raise money for a local worthy cause and for the Poppy Appeal. Guests of honour for the evening were the branch patron, Jo Churchill MP, accompanied by her husband Peter, and the Mayor of Stowmarket, Major Barry Humphreys MBE, who was accompanied by his wife Tracy.

INNER WHEEL CLUB OF STOWMARKET Two members of Stowmarket Town Pastors were the speakers at Stowmarket Inner Wheel Club’s October meeting. Stowmarket Town Pastors is a voluntary organisation which patrols the streets on Friday and Saturday nights in co-operation with local police. Their task to protect vulnerable young people in Stowmarket and offer support when needed.  These dedicated people from various churches in the area have helped hundreds of teenagers over the years.  They are not a charity and do not ask for donations, but are always looking for volunteers to help them with their worthwhile task.

STOWMARKET LIONS JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR MEN’S HEALTH MOVEMBER.COM is the international charity that tackles some of the biggest issues facing men, including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide. Stowmarket Lion Roger Wallis and his fellow members are supporting MOVEMBER by raising funds and creating awareness of men’s health issues. Those who have moustaches are having them shaved off while those who don’t normally wear a moustache will grow one. On November 1, and after nearly 40 years of wearing a moustache, Roger visited the Turkish Barbers at The Old Fox Yard to have his moustache removed.

On November 24 club member Geoff Walker demonstrated how to mount photographs for competition and club trophies were presented to the members achieving the highest overall competition scores in each category. Congratulations to you all. Small prints: Sandra Hullis Monochrome prints: Roy Ward Colour prints: Roy Fidler PDIs: Roy Fidler All Rounder: Roy Fidler NEXT MEETINGS Monday, November 28: Open Competition (2) to be judged by Roy Essery Monday, December 12: Wildlife Competition to be judged by Brian Carlick New members are always very welcome. All you need is a camera – any camera – and a real interest in using it. Our members use DSLRs, mirrorless, compacts and bridge cameras. Regular meetings are held at Stowmarket Community Centre, Hillside, Stowmarket IP14 2BD, usually on the second and fourth Mondays of the month between September and June. We start arriving at around 7pm for a 7.30 start. We’d love to see you there. For more information visit:

STOWMARKET MEADLANDS RECREATION CLUB Stowmarket Meadlands Recreation Club is thriving and membership is increasing, but we always seek and welcome new members. Meadlands is a social club with live music on Saturdays nights, Karaoke, bingo, BBQs, darts, petanque, crib, BT Sports and a competitively priced bar menu, but also has a sporting side which archery, angling badminton, bowls and snooker. There are even plans for a much publicised Men’s Shed. Members are able to purchase paint and many decorating materials and goods at very competitive prices in the club shop. Membership is £21 per annum, £33 for a family, £10 for Under 18s. Playing sections are £35 (although angling and badminton do have an additional charge). Drop in for more information, call 01449 773243 or visit: Robin Kett

STOWMARKET RAMBLERS Sunday, December 4: 4 mile walk beside River Gipping to Alder Carr, then back if wished.  Meet at Stowmarket Railway station at 9.30am to move cars as walk starts at 10am. Leader: 07800 847709

Walking in Aldeburgh by Mary Moore

Sunday, December 11: 5 mile walk from East Bergholt, followed by Carol Service at Lawford. Park and meet at the Red Lion public house car park at 10am / GR 069346.  Leader: 01449 673690 Pictured in 1988, Lion President Ernie Pearce with Lions Chris Philpot and Roger Wallis, and Roger with his wife Bev now.


Sunday, December 18: 4 mile amble on Thornham Walks. Park and meet at Thornham Walks car park at 10.30am. Leader: 07919 350170

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OUT & ABOUT ROTARY CLUB OF STOWMARKET GIPPING VALLEY Members recently got their hands dirty (literally) helping to clear the back garden of rubbish at Stepping Stones Nursery so that a sensory garden can be prepared in the near future. The nursery is inclusive and helps children with special needs and disabilities. Their budget has been drastically cut by Suffolk County Council. Assistance was offered as part of the club’s long term promise to help Stepping Stones as and when necessary. The nursery is run by Stowmarket and Area Opportunities Group and was established in 1988. It is based next to the rugby club at Chilton Fields. Children come from a wide catchment area. The setting supports children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities and children who speak English as an additional language. He came, he saw, he conquered. No it wasn’t Julius Caesar, but author Anthony Riches who gave a very interesting talk to members about how his interest in that period was originally triggered, and his plans for future novels. Anthony is the author of The Empire Series of Roman novels amongst others. His books are well known amongst aficionados of Rome and its history. He also dressed up in the full regalia of a Roman Centurion to give his talk even more frisson. The Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley is always looking for new members (male and female) who are interested in fellowship and service within the local community. We meet at the Cedars Hotel in Stowmarket on Thursday evenings. If you would like to give us a try, please contact our membership secretary, Margaret Woollam: 07836 371500 / / Facebook.

The Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley presents ....

An Evening of Choirs and Christmas Trees (as part of the Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival) featuring

the Wattisham Military Wives’ Choir and

the Stowmarket Rock Choir THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST MARY, STOWMARKET Friday, 2nd December, 2016 7.15pm Admission £10.00 per person Profits to be donated to The British Heart Foundation and local causes PROGRAMME 6.45 Doors open 7.15 Wattisham Military Wives’ Choir

8.00 Interval (light refreshments available) 8.45 Stowmarket Rock Choir 9.30 Close

Tickets can be purchased from: British Heart Foundation, 12 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket In Harmony, 33 High Street, Needham Market



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Stowmarket & District Monday Club has enjoyed an evening of carpet bowls and various card and board games. A coach full of members and helpers had a trip to Hadleigh to attend a disco party provided by Hadleigh Royal British Legion. Everyone who attended had a really good time. We then had an evening making Guys which were put onto the bonfire at the local museum and went up in flames on Bonfire Night. The following week we had a Halloween dance with Yesterday providing the music. Many of the members dressed up for the occasion and prizes were given for the best costumes. We also spent an evening making decorations for our Christmas Tree and look forward to seeing them displayed in the church over the festive season.

Twenty-seven members attended the AGM when all officers and committee members agreed to remain in office. With £422 taken, the jumble sale was most successful. Our speaker was Andy Malcolm from The Fisherman’s Mission. Andy has given about 100 talks over 13 years. He told us the charity is 135 years old and shared several good tales and a number of very sad ones. He sang a sea shanty called Grimbsy Lads and we all took part in a game called Codswallop. It was a most interesting talk and Andy was thanked by Shirley Cobbold. There were items for sale and a collection box. I’m sure we were all generous to this very good cause. Competition winners were first Carol Penton, second Lynda Farr and third Josie Horrex. The competition trophy for the last year was won by Carol Penton, second Janet Beaumont and joint third Josie Horrex and Liz Warren. Hazel Mann thanked the officers and committee members for their support and help received in the last year. Details were given of the Remembrance Day Parade. There will be a national conference in April 2017. The branch Christmas dinner is in the Royal British Legion Club on December 21. For more details speak to Janet Beaumont. Maureen Stammers

We are now looking forward to our Christmas Party to really get into the festive spirit. Activities continue up to December 12 and resume on January 9 with a country ‘n’ western evening. We are a club for adults with learning difficulties and meet from 7.309.30pm each Monday at the Community Hub in Crown Street. We are run entirely by volunteers and new members and helpers are always very welcome. If you would like further information, please contact us on 01449 672123 or just come along on a Monday evening.

STOWUPLAND LOCAL HISTORY GROUP Wednesday, December 7: Suffolk Children in Care, the story of St John’s Home in Ipswich by Linda Sexton Started as part of Ipswich Workhouse in 1871, St John’s Home didn’t close until the 1950s. Many Suffolk families have connections to the home. Linda Sexton has written a book about it and holds the largest collection of photographs of the institution. Small contributions of seasonal fare will be welcomed and donations will be in aid of Barnardo’s. We meet at 7.30pm in Stowupland Village Hall IP14 4BQ where parking is easy. Visitors are always welcome and refreshments are available. Admission is £1 for members, £3 for non-members. Please note that we do not meet in January. Our first meeting of 2017 will be on Wednesday, February 1 when we look forward to Kate Jewell’s talk entitled Minstrels and Mayhem. For more information, please contact Judy Clarke: 01449 615386

ELMSWELL HISTORY GROUP Thursday, December 8 at 7.30pm: Angel Roofs of East Anglia, an illustrated talk by Michael Rimmer featuring beautiful music, stunning photography and a delicious festive buffet supper. Entry for this special evening is by advance-purchased ticket only, costing £3 for members or £5 for non-members/visitors. Tickets will not be available on the door, but (if not sold out) can be purchased from 01359 242601. Thursday, January 12, earlier 7pm start: Official launch of our HLF-funded project on Elmswell’s Lost First World War Aerodrome and 75 (Home Defence) Squadron Royal Flying Corps, followed by an illustrated talk by Peter McGee and Graham Mack entitled Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines – Elmswell’s Great War Aviators. Meetings take place in Wesley Hall, School Road, Elmswell IP30 9EE, where there is ample on-site free parking and disabled access. The hall is only five minutes’ walk from Elmswell Railway Station and on the 384/5 bus route. Annual membership is £6.50 plus £1.50 per normal meeting attended, or £3 per normal meeting for non-members/visitors. For further details, please contact Stella Chamberlin: 01359 242601

SANTA AND THE BIG DECISION I am afraid to say that there has been a big argument going on this year at the North Pole. Some of the elves were getting fed up with laws and rules being imposed on them by someone else about how the toys should be made, while others didn’t really mind, and were quite happy with that, and even thought it was a better way of doing things. This argument about how laws were being made and imposed had been going on for many years, so in the summer, Santa had a good idea. He decided that the elves should vote to decide whether they should stay in the North Pole, or leave the North Pole. The arguments raged and raged. Frosty the Snowman told the elves that all sorts of nasty things would happen if they left the North Pole. Rudolph the Reindeer said that all sorts of nasty things would happen if the elves stayed in the North Pole. In the end the elves really didn’t know what to think, but voted anyway, just for fun. As it turned out, more elves wanted to leave the North Pole than stay, and so Santa was left with no choice but to go along with what the elves had voted for, even though he didn’t think that was the best idea. “Crumbs,” he thought. “What have I done?”

This, however, led to Santa’s second good idea of the summer. Santa thought it might be best if someone else sorted out the mess, so he said “toodle-oo” and disappeared off into the sunset. The elves thought that Mrs Claus would be the best person to sort everything out and despite all the bad things that might have happened, nothing actually did (at least not yet). The good news is that all of the toys and presents are on course to be delivered on Christmas Eve this year, as they have been every year. Everyone at Gudgeons Prentice would like to wish our clients and everyone we work with a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Buttermarket, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1ED Telephone: 01449 613101 • Fax: 01449 615087 Email:


OUT & ABOUT STOWMARKET SUGARCRAFT CLUB We have had some extremely interesting talks this year, with our demonstrators showing us new skills or reminding us of various techniques that we don’t use every day. As usual we are preparing our Christmas Tree Decorations for the Stowmarket Tree Festival which is open from November 26. We look forward to your comments! A special thank you must go to Glenda Price who continually organisers our monthly speakers and steps in at short notice (sometimes hours before) to ensure an enjoyable evening is had. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year. New members are always welcome; we meet on the second Monday of each month in St Mary’s Hall on Wolsey Road, Stowmarket. Come along and enjoy a cup of tea/coffee followed by a demonstration. For more information contact Glenda Price: 01449 615382

EXERCISE CLASS FOR AGES 45+ Every Friday at 1.30pm there is an exercise class at Red Gables, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket aimed at older men and women (45 plus) who would like to improve their overall strength, body balance and suppleness. The sessions are varied and are geared to improve bone density and keep your heart healthy. We are a friendly group and always finish with a cuppa and a chat. If you would like to discuss the class in more detail contact: 01787 211822 / 07840 689995

VOLUNTEERING PROJECT TAKING OFF IN STOWMARKET In the November edition I wrote about a new project we have launched at Red Gables to help improve volunteering in the Stowmarket area. Our aim is to get organisations who need volunteers and people who want to volunteer together at our monthly drop-in at our Redwoods Centre. This project has proved to be a great success. So far we have had five people looking for volunteer opportunities and we have found places for three of them. There are lots of opportunities out there for those who are looking to do something in their spare time. We have had over a dozen charitable organisations approach us saying they have opportunities as varied as befrienders, drivers, craft workers, receptionists, shop assistants and committee members. At Red Gables we have a number of volunteers who support different projects. They tell me that they love giving something back to the community and they really like being part of a team. It also looks good on your CV if you are looking for a job. The sessions where would be volunteers meet in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and get ideas about what they would like to volunteer for are on the last Thursday of the month from 10am-1pm. New Year sessions begin on January 26. For more information, contact Elaine or Suzanne at Red Gables: 01449 673947 / I would also like to thank everyene who recently voted for our Arboretum Garden Project as part of the Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme. As I write, voting is ongoing. Whatever happens we will use the funding we receive to plant lots of bulbs, shrubs and young trees to add all year round colour for the community and users of Red Gables to enjoy. Our garden project volunteers will be carrying out a substantial amount of the work. If you are interested in helping please make contact: 01449 673947 / Red Gables Manager Martyn Burnside


NEEDHAM MARKET AND DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY Our autumn programme continued with a talk by Julie Foster, aided by lots of items that she had foraged from hedgerows. These included many plants that can be used for medicinal purposes and may be used in cooking and drinking. In November we travelled to Kashmir with Maggie Thorpe to enjoy a talk about the Mogul Gardens. These gardens were built hundreds of years ago and are still being cared for and used today. The 2017 programme is now out and we look forward to an entertaining year. The AGM will be after the winter break, on February 2 and will feature Mr Barham with The Origin of Sayings. Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in the community centre. We have varied, interesting and entertaining speakers, refreshments and a bring and buy plant stall. We also organise coach trips and evening visits to local places of interest. If you are interested, just turn up at one of the meetings or visit:

IT MAKES A CHANGE AT ORCHARD BARN One of the great aspects of volunteering at Orchard Barn is the variety of tasks. There is a choice of day depending on your general interests – Tuesday for gardeners, Wednesday for site development, Thursday for greenwood working and Saturdays, monthly. Gardening could mean creating new Hugelkultur beds, sowing, weeding, potting on or tending fruit trees. Site development has included wattle and daub, deadwood screening, ditch digging, grass cutting, apple picking, composting, hedge-laying and shrub clearance. That’s when we’re at the barn. Once a month we go to a 200 acre wood and help in its restoration with log stacking and splitting, filling and emptying the charcoal kiln and covering stumps to protect them against the deer. Greenwood working is aimed at creating items for sale such as garden benches, bird boxes, clocks, garden labels. If you would like to try any of these activities and develop new skills, visit or contact us on: 01473 658193 / 07766 054042

STOWMARKET AND DISTRICT FLOWER CLUB Our next meeting is on Wednesday, January 25 at Woolpit Village Hall at 12.15pm. Please note change of time. This will be our usual January soup and workshop meeting. At the AGM on October 26, outgoing chairman Dorothy Lay presented Paul Ormond of Greenfingers – a charity which creates magical sensory gardens at children’s hospices across the country – with a cheque for £1608.46, money raised by the club during her time in office. Club treasurer Denise Shaw is also pictured.

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“Staff are enthusiastic and ensure learning is fun” Ofsted, June 2016 The children have been out and about in Stowmarket, having fun exploring and playing with leaves at The Museum of East Anglian Life, Abbots Hall House, Red Gables Wood and in our own outside space and our ‘Green’ area. We have talked about the shape and size of leaves and trees and listened to the sounds the leaves make when wet and dry. We have jumped, tiptoed, drawn, painted, chalked, laminated and made leaf rubbings and leaf pictures on and of the leaves. Now we are looking forward to snow which we can explore in many different ways. We are pleased to announce that we have extended our opening times and are now open from 9am-3pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and from 9am-1pm on Wednesday in term time. If you are interested in visiting our ‘Good’ (Ofsted rating, June 2016) pre-school, please feel free to pop in to one of our sessions, no appointment necessary. We are located to the right of the United Reformed Church in the middle of Stowmarket. If you would prefer to make an appointment, please contact Steph, our manager: 07542 698818

TRINITY CEVA PRIMARY SCHOOL As part of their science programme in Year 2 at Trinity CEVA Primary School, the children have been learning about animals and their life cycles. To enrich the children’s learning experience, the Living Eggs company delivered ‘ready to hatch’ chicken eggs. The children have witnessed, first hand, the life cycle in action and have enjoyed being part of it.

A fantastic turnout of 50 kids attended the Scorpion Halloween Party and training session. Every child had made the effort to wear a spooky mask or outfit and lots of fun and games kept them all entertained, and of course plenty of sweets were handed out. An equally great turnout of fighters recently attended the Scorpion interclub sparring tournaments which saw fighters compete in karate, tae kwon do, kickboxing and boxing. All fighters demonstrated excellent skills and above all good sportsmanship and respect. A big thank you to Ipswich based Lees Martial Arts who took part in the kickboxing tournament. The academy still has lots to happen before Christmas, including a grappling tournament, kids first aid training, colour and black belt exams and our Christmas meal. We offer all new members one month for free. For further details contact Mark JR Trent: 07708 644162 /

FINBOROUGH LADIES NETBALL CLUB Previously Stowmarket Ladies Netball Club

Our club has more than 90 members with teams playing across the divisions in the South Suffolk Netball League. We have a very strong focus on coaching and developing volunteers and are in the process The school, which has seen its pupil numbers increase to 68 of applying for the silver award (we currently hold the bronze) in the this year, will be holding open days during November and Club Action Planning Scheme (CAPS), a scheme which aims to support January. For more information, please call 01449 770462 or visit: us to deliver a quality netball development programme and operate in line with best practice. As the project was an expensive one, the pupils helped to fundraise a third of the cost by having a bake sale in school.

HOLIDAY CLUB AT COMBS FORD PRIMARY SCHOOL This October half-term saw the first holiday club at Combs Clubhouse and it has been a ‘screaming’ success. Halloween was the theme of this holiday club and the children made pop-up-ghosts and spiders and decorated the clubhouse windows during the craft day. Other activities included a movie day, an outing to the local park and other outdoor activities, biscuit and cake making and indoor games. The children using the before and after school facility at Combs Clubhouse have also had very busy themed weeks with outdoor activities, craft days and games. We are now very busy getting ready for Christmas with fun activities planned up until the end of term. The holiday club is open for all school holidays and PD days, except the Christmas break. Please contact us on 01449 615965 for more details. Headteacher Russell Clark

SOME RECENT RESULTS Finborough Wrens vs Allstars Victory for Allstars 36-24 Finborough Cygnets vs Ipswich Ladies Victory for Cygnets 19-17 Finborough Robins vs Orwell 3 Victory for Orwell 31-20 Finborough Swifts vs Collegiate Victory for Swifts 35-30 Finborough Doves vs Civil Service Lions Victory for Lions 52-30 Finborough Eagles vs Atlas 2 Victory for Eagles 52-30 Finborough Wrens vs Lloyds, October 31 Victory for Wrens 36-5. Finborough Doves vs Finborough Swifts Victory for Swifts 19-11 Finborough Eagles vs Titans Victory for Eagles 55-29 Finborough Robins vs Cs Bobcats Victory for Robins 16-15


SPORT FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS GRADING EXAMS Last month, students of Modern Arnis Stowupland took part in their next set of belt exams. The testing was a gruelling, four-hour session of nonstop hard work, including elements of empty-hands, weapons training and sparring. The exams warmed up with students demonstrating their stick drills, showing various striking patterns and angles, both with single and double sticks, before moving on to their empty hand striking combinations. Like many South-East Asian arts, Filipino empty hand fighting includes a mix of punches, kicks, elbows and knees. Working with partners, the exam then moved to throwing and sweeping techniques, before progressing to a series of joint-locks and traps. From there, weapons were reintroduced, applying those locks with and against stick attacks. With everyone fully warmed up by that stage, weapons work really began in earnest, with techniques and drill from a huge number of variations of stick, sword/machete, knife and kerambit/dulo. Sometimes partners were using the same weapons, sometimes alternate weapons, and often using more than one weapon in each hand. Pretty exhausted towards the end, the last half hour was spent in a round-robin sparring session, with each student fighting a number of one-on-one stick-fighting matches. Then just for a last push before finishing, there were a few special matches with three people fighting against each other at the same time. While testing is obviously a great way to measure everyone’s progress, a hard four-hour session like this has it’s own benefits, consolidating and reinforcing what the students have learned so far. Those who took part are now already training towards their next exam. If you are interested in trying Filipino Martial Arts, classes are taught in Stowupland by Maestro Eric Amada, one of the most respected and popular Arnis teachers in the UK. The class caters for all levels and complete beginners are always welcome, as are students from other arts looking to supplement their existing skills. Classes take place from 7-8.30pm at Stowupland Sports Centre at Stowupland High School on Tuesday evenings. For more information, contact Eric:

SEVENTH DAN AIKIDO SEMINAR On Sunday, October 30, Satomi Kai Aikido had the great pleasure of hosting a one day seminar in Stowmarket with Sensei Bill Harris. Sensei Harris has been training in Aikido for more than 40 years, attaining the rank of 7th dan, and is the chief instructor/examiner of the Kai Shin Kai. He brought with him four other senior instructors, all of whom took a slot teaching during the day. It was a good opportunity to see the range of expertise and teaching styles from other people coming up in the organisation. The overriding theme of this seminar was weapons, with much of the day focusing on sword work. Many of the techniques in Aikido have their roots in the Japanese sword techniques of the samurai, and the visiting instructors first taught a number of empty-hand techniques before moving on to show the same techniques applied against a sword attack. As is traditional after a hard seminar, we all went for a few drinks and to socialise afterwards. The post-session pub trip is always a good time to catch up with seminar friends you may only otherwise see a year or two apart. It was also lovely to see a number of students and friends who hadn’t been able to make the training itself. We had a great turnout on the day and would like to thank everyone who came along. Particular thanks to everyone who helped make it such a successful day. As well as being an excellent Aikidoka, Sensei Harris is a warm, fun and very friendly instructor. His seminars are always extremely rewarding and we look forward to hosting more seminars in the future. Some particularly keen students even travelled to Aylesbury the following weekend to cram in another seminar with him. For anyone interested in trying Aikido, beginners are always welcome. Classes run from 7pm on Sundays at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, or from 8pm on Thursdays at Cedars Park Community Centre. For more information, please email or visit:

STOWMARKET TENNIS CLUB It’s been a very busy time at the club with lots of activity both on and off court. The biggest news is that we have now installed our airhall for the winter which means that we can play throughout the next five months or so without any disruption from the weather. A couple of exceptions to that last statement would be 90mph winds or over 15cm of snow – both of which would have us taking evasive action. Winter league is now in full swing, taking advantage of the indoor facility, with a dozen senior pairs competing most weekends against pairs from other clubs in the Ipswich & District League. Social play is also thriving with club mornings and evenings a huge success story with all courts regularly full and a few waiting players keen to get on. If your child goes to school in Stowmarket then there’s a big chance they’ve seen one of my tennis assemblies lately. Since the beginning of September I’ve delivered demo sessions at Abbotts Hall, Wood Ley, Bosmere, Cedars Park and Trinity Primary Schools plus Stowupland High School. The local cubs group also joined me at the club one Thursday evening for a spirited fun session and invitatioxns have been sent to brownies groups too. If you’re a cub, scout, brownie or guide leader, do get in touch and we can arrange for an evening session down at the club. The adult programme has introduced some new players too. Some are beginners, some played while at school, so now is the perfect time to


start, particularly if you want to get practising before next spring. As I write Andy Murray has just been confirmed as World No. 1. He’s achieved this before even reaching the Paris final as his opponent has retired and the other top player, Novak Djokovic, was beaten at the quarter final stage. Murray was the top junior in the world which was the last time he was ranked above Djokovic, their careers evenly matched in their younger days. This is the first time he’s reached the senior top spot and broken the dominance of Djokovic who, it must be said, hasn’t quite regained his form or fitness from five months ago. We’ll have to see how long Andy can remain at the top and whether Novak finally recovers to take back the crown. We’re always looking out for the next star of the future and hold weekly fun sessions to introduce new juniors into the game. From there they can progress into a regular squad or remain in the fun session if they prefer. If you’d like to see if you have what it takes to be the next Andy Murray or Joanna Konta, then get in touch. See you on court! Senior Club Coach Chris Cunningham

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NEEDHAM MARKET BOWLS CLUB NMBC held it’s AGM on October 17. The meeting began sadly with a minutes silence for members who had passed away in the previous 12 months – Ross Theobold, Derek Mitchell, David Cousins and Terry Welhams. This was followed by reports from the president, club captain and treasurer which were all very positive, with treasurer Linda Benthom reporting that finances were in a healthy state and proposing that membership and green fees be kept at their current levels. This was passed by the meeting. The election of the clubs officers followed.

Stowmarket Hornets (Under 11s) travelled to Cliff Lane, Ipswich on Sunday, November 6 for their lunchtime fixture with Ipswich and Suffolk Youth League rivals Ipswich Valley Rangers. The Hornets were looking for a fourth win in a row, but on a very chilly day suffered a 4-1 defeat against a strong home side. Before the game the players got together for a team photograph to show off their new kit which has been sponsored by Stowmarket Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors, Lacy Scott & Knight. Hopefully Sunday’s loss will only be a temporary setback, and they will soon be back on the winning trail.

STOWMARKERS JUNIOR NETBALL CLUB Where has the time gone? Nearly another year has flown past and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Stowmarkers Juniors has had an incredible year what with the awards ceremony, a new website, a team entered into the league and lots of new players. What more could be on our club’s wish list? Well this is the month for our annual Christmas raffle, the club’s biggest fundraiser, and we are hoping that this year will beat all others. We have lots of prizes on offer and a list of the prizes and winners will appear on our Facebook page and website. I would personally like to thank all those parents and organisations who have donated prizes; the club is truly grateful for your continued support. The club has again taken part in this year’s Christmas Tree Festival at St Peter’s Church in Stowmarket with an interactive tree – please do come along and take a look. We have also participated in the Christmas Festival at Needham Market Church this year and our Stupendous Star can be viewed there. Both of these events engage the local community and we are proud to be taking part. If you have a son or daughter who would like to play netball, please contact Louise: 07428 595354


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President: John Holloway Chairman: Alistair Bailie Treasurer: Linda Benthom Secretary: Pat Hadden Club Captain: Alistair Bailie Minutes Secretary: Pat Goodrum A proposal by Brian Locksmith and John Milliard to hold more club competitions during 2017 was warmly received and singles, pairs and triples competitions will be played. Social events are held each month during the winter and they will be as follows. November 25: Carpet Bowls, members £3, non-members £4.50. This is also signing on night so don’t forget membership fees. You will also be asked what days you wish to bowl. December 16: Our Christmas social with a quiz, Scatagories, hoi bingo and maybe even carols. Mince pies and sausage rolls are on the menu. Members £3, non-members £4.50. January 20: A Beetle Drive with a session by Stowmarket Strummers ukelele band, thanks to Colin Biginton. Hot food will be served. Members £3, non-members £4.50. This is your last chance to pay your membership fee. February 24: Big Quiz Night, always well attended and I think getting quite competitive. Food is soup and a roll followed by a pudding. Members £5, non-members £6.50. March 24: To be arranged When the green reopens we shall be having meet and greet sessions on Saturday mornings for anyone who wishes to take up bowling, Exact dates will be published in the April, so come along and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or even try bowling. Remember, YOU’Re NEVER TOO YOUNG TO BOWL. Contacts: Pat Hadden 01473 831308 / Alistair Bailie 01449 720759

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SPORT / CHURCH NEWS STOWMARKET BADMINTON CLUB Stowmarket Badminton Club has been running for more than 50 years and we currently run 10 teams in the Ipswich and District and Bury and District leagues. Our club aim is to provide opportunities to participate in both recreational and competitive badminton in the Stowmarket area. Our club night is on Wednesday evenings at Mid Suffolk Sports Centre at 8pm and our match nights are on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Although we don’t tend to do individual coaching for beginners on club evenings, we are able to direct individuals to local coaches affiliated to the club who can help out in that department. We are always keen to see new players give it a go so if you are interested in playing, have moved into the area, or simply want to rekindle an old pastime, please contact Mary Hughes (01359 240811) or Andy Newcombe (07779 416672) for further details. Not everyone in the club plays local league matches, many just like to come along to play competitive badminton at club night, so if you just fancy a good workout in a friendly atmosphere feel free to pop along. For more details about the club visit: We also run a very successful and large junior section which over its ten years has seen many of our juniors represent the club in local leagues and the county at all junior levels. As part of our junior development we were also awarded Badminton England Premier Club status in 2008 after successfully completing the Clubmark quality accreditation scheme. We also run a very successful junior club tournament in late March each year, inviting all the other junior clubs in Suffolk to attend. This year we had 80 players attend with trophies spread across the five junior clubs. We also cater for the older generation and are well represented in the Suffolk County Masters Over 60s League and friendly matches with Phil Maynard, John Dakin, Ray Rudland, Mary Watson, Steph Dakin and Mary Hughes all taking part. At our recent end of season AGM several players picked up awards for the 2015/16 season, with James Adderson picking up the Club Person of the Year award and Jack Gray receiving the Most Improved Player award. The Chris Corey Junior Award is presented to the overall best junior who has shown the most promise and commitment to the club at junior and senior level, as well as outside of the club in local tournaments and county events. This year’s award went to Ellie Davies who was recently presented with the trophy by Liz Corey at one of our club nights.

STOWMARKET CRICKET CLUB The annual end of season Chairman v President match followed by junior and senior awards was blessed with excellent weather and proved to be a most enjoyable day at Chilton Fields Sports Club. The match saw chairman Stephen Lilley’s newly-promoted 1st XI gain a narrow victory over president Peter Holborn’s team of past luminaries, including former captains and county players Adam King, Mike Peck and Kevin Holland. Dale Watling was awarded the man of the match. The senior awards were shared between Dale Watling, Simon Codd, Kierran Haynes, Richard Baxter and James Smith. Clive Witherly was presented with a richly-deserved long service award. Many of the club’s 50+ juniors gained recognition for their performances, with star billing going to Stuart Lilley (U15) and George Tillbrook (U13), who shared the Junior Player trophy after splendid performances all year in the club’s 1st XI.

OLD NEWTON IP14 4PP CHRISTMAS AT THE CHAPEL Sunday, November 27, 10.45am: Advent Service This service will include the lighting of the first candle on our Advent Crown. Tuesday, December 6, 12.15pm: Christmas Lunch Do join us for a seasonal lunch of festive fare. Sunday, December 4, 10.45am: Chrismon Tree Service This service will include the ceremony of the Chrismon Tree when our tree is lit and decorated with Christian symbols. Sunday, December 11, 10.45am: Nativity Family Service In which the story of the birth of Jesus will be re-enacted. Sunday, December 18 10.45am: Family Christmas Communion An informal Christmas Communion Service suitable for all the family. 6.30pm: Carols and Candles A celebration of our Lord’s Nativity in word and song in our beautifully decorated and candlelit chapel, followed by a Christmas finger buffet supper. Sunday, December 25, 11am: Christmas Day Family Service Come and celebrate Christmas with us and don’t forget to bring one of the presents you found in your stocking to show us! There are also Advent Services on November 27 and December 4 and 11 at 6.30pm.


All are welcome to our Messy Church Service on Sunday, December 4. The theme is The Angel Speaks to Mary and there will be lots of messy crafts, stories and things to do, with bacon rolls, tea, coffee and juice from 10.45am and the service at 11am. We look forward to welcoming you and hope to see you at some of our Christmas services. Once again we are holding a not-to-be-missed Crib Festival at St Mary’s. The church will be decorated with colourful and artistic displays from five Stowmarket schools in addition to nurseries and uniformed groups. St Mary’s will be open for viewing the displays on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday 4, 10am-4pm. There will be lots of craft activities for children, a dress-up nativity scene and refreshments. Bishop Mike Harrison will lead our grand opening on Friday, December 2 at 6pm. With something for everyone, why not come along and start celebrating Christmas with us? For more information: Happy Christmas from all at St Mary’s Church.


CHURCH NEWS STOWMARKET GOSPEL HALL Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket IP14 1NE We all may be looking forward to Christmas for many different reasons. For us at the Gospel Hall, it brings a special opportunity to think about the birth of the Saviour in Bethlehem in a way that perhaps we don’t during the rest of the year. We have our Christmas Trailblazers for children aged five and up on Saturday, December 10, 10.30am-noon. We will be looking at the Christmas story with carols and crafts.

STOWMARKET UNITED REFORMED CHURCH Members and friends of Stowmarket United Reformed Church would like to wish all readers Christmas greetings. We invite you to join with us as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday each Sunday morning in Advent at 10.25am. On  December 18 our young people and helpers will perform the  Nativity story, with carols  and readings by candlelight at 4pm. Our Midnight Service is at 11.25pm on Christmas Eve, followed by Family Worship at 10.25am on Christmas Day. Come and see at the URC.

Our Family Carol Service is on Sunday, December 18 at 4pm. There will be carols and readings with the help of the children and a Christmas talk by Phil Ramsey from Helions Bumpstead. We hope you will be able to join us for the service and refreshments afterwards. If you’ve never been to the Gospel Hall, what better time than Christmas to join in with us in celebrating the Saviour’s birth? We wish everyone God’s richest blessings at Christmas.

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


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

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In Touch News with Stowmarket – December 2016  
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