Quote of the week

Life isn't about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself'

George Bernard Shaw
If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wish.html

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Farewell to Siobhan

Many readers of the website will remember PCSO Siobhan Hemmett who was the officer responsible for parishes in the Waldingfield Ward area until she was transferred to other areas in West Babergh a year or so ago.

Siobhan did a great job in the Ward, working alongside schools to improve road safety and undertaking all sorts of other less high profile, but necessary tasks.  The picture here shows her promoting the walking to school in Action, and also encouraging motorists to drive more slowly.

Siobhan was recently succesful in applying for a twelve month secondment to a new role in Bury St Edmunds, looking at how the police respond to people with mental health issues.  The aim is to find ways to reduce the very high levels of demand that this area of work brings to the service.  If successful the project should bring benefits both to those with mental health problems and also to the police.

While Siobhan is away her duties will be covered by other members of the Babergh West Safer Neighbourhood Team.  I am sure we all wish her well in her new role.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Babergh to build first houses for 20 years

Babergh is to build new social housing for the first time in 20 years.

Following changes made by Government in recent years to the way that the funding of housing activity is organised, councils now have much more flexibility in the area of housing provision.  They can, for example, borrow against their housing stock and thus initiate the building of new properties. This was not possible in the past.  In addition at present the Government is offering grants to councils in order to further stimulate the construction of houses for those who cannot afford to buy their own homes outright.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils, in partnership with Havebury Housing Association, were recently successful in securing £1million from the Government’s Affordable Homes Project.    A proportion of this money will enable Babergh to build some 27 new homes for those on the housing waiting list. 38 houses will be built in Mid Suffolk.

I am not yet certain where the houses will be built, but hope that a proportion will be in rural areas in order to give young people the option of living in the countryside, and to keep our villages and their facilities alive.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A trip to Sussex

We have just come back from a short trip down to Sussex.

We had decided to stay in Eastbourne before the recent fire damaged the pier. It is a sad sight at present as can be seen above.  Local people are determined that all will be put to rights by the beginning of next summer season.  One person we met expressed the opinion that it had not been altogether a bad thing, since the penny arcade, which formerly occupied the damaged pavilion, had passed its sell by date.  He expressed the view that something more up to date, such as boutiques and cafes might be a better use of the newly available space.  I am not sure about this since many people still go to the seaside for its traditional attractions.

The town has followed other seaside places by recently building a new art gallery.  The Towner Gallery opened in 2009, and its contemporary aspect is certainly a change from the old mansion that formerly housed the town's collection. Primarily devoted to modern art,  it has huge spaces on the ground floor, and a more traditional layout with cafe above.

We were lucky to catch an interesting show, Designing the Everyday, which featured artists from the early years of the 20th Century to the present,  whose work had been used as designs for commercial purposes, such as advertisements, fabric and ceramics.  Nick was interested to see the original posters, created by various artists including Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, from the 'You can be sure of Shell' campaign which revolutionised advertising.  I was particularly taken by the ceramics designed for Wedgewood in the 1930's by Eric Ravilious, which are still popular and available today.
Alphabet design mug for Wedgwood by Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942) first produced 1937

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A concert in September.

On 6th September there is to be an autumn entertainment ‘There is Sweet Music’ in Preston St Mary Parish Church.

Serendipity, described as ‘South Suffolk’s best small choir’ will sing a selection of songs dating from the sixteenth century to the present day, including Tallis and Byrd, Rachmaninoff and Mendelsohn, folk songs, and also favourites from the First World War.

All proceeds of the concert will go towards the maintenance of the fabric of the church.

Preston Church, pictured above,  contains much of interest.  In the nineteenth century however it was in a state of dilapidation,  and after the tower was struck for a second time by lightning in 1868,  much of the building was reconstructed  by the Victorian architect Sir Arthur Blomfield.  Blomfield is perhaps best known for designing the Royal College of Music, and he also rebuilt the nave of what is now Southwark Cathedral.  Those who know about these matters consider that perhaps his restoration at Preston might be considered over grand for a small parish church, but it must be remembered that the population of Preston at the time was almost certainly rather larger than it is today.

More ancient relics remain in the Church, including a fine sixteenth century porch, an outstanding twelfth century font, and what is described by Mortlock as ‘one of the most interesting Decalogue boards to be found anywhere. Dating possibly from the time of Edward lV…’  There are also interesting mosaics and monuments, including brass of one of Suffolk’s first antiquarians, Robert Ryece, who died in 1638.  Ryece collected over 150 stained glass heraldic shields, dating from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, and 46 of these can be seen in the aisle east windows and the clerestory.

Why not come to the concert and take a look? The performance starts at 7.30 p.m. and tickets are priced at £12.50 to include canap├ęs and a glass of wine after the performance.  Tickets can be bought at the door, in advance from Lavenham Tourist Office, or by calling 01449 741389.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Missed the Green Deal?

Information event at Sudbury Market in October.

The Government's Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which offered grants to make homes more energy-efficient, closed last month after the £120m allocated for it ran out in six week due to a surge of applications.

Suffolk residents can still get funding for home improvements, thanks to a successful bid to central Government of £5.7 million for the Suffolk Energy Action scheme. This scheme will provide funding and advice for the installation of energy efficiency improvements to help all Suffolk homeowners and private renting tenants save money. The primary focus will be on homes that could benefit from solid wall insulation as 45% of heat in a home will be escaping through the walls if they are not insulated.

Over the next few months, local councils, community groups and partners such as Rural Coffee Caravan are holding roadshows to help raise awareness about the scheme. Officers will be on hand to answer any questions people may have about making their homes more energy efficient.

One of these events will be held at Sudbury Market between 08.30 and 16.00 on 16 October.

By joining the scheme, Suffolk residents can get a heavily discounted assessment at £29 which will identify potential improvements. They will then receive options and advice for funding, which could be up to £6000 towards the cost of the installation.

 For more information about funding go to www.suffolkenergyaction.org or call 0800 840 90 90 or email info@suffolkenergyaction.org

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hundred Mile hike for Charity.

Martello Tower on the Coastal Path

Graham Newman who is a Cabinet Member at the County Council and who is also the Mayor of Felixstowe is today embarking on a fund raising hike from Cattawade to Lowestoft.  This is a 100 mile walk which takes in the Stour and Orwell and the Suffolk Coast Path Walks.  Accompanying Graham will be his 12 year old daughter, Rebecca.

Graham writes:  This is not a Lesley Dolphin-style exercise of walking the whole route without stopping - we will be doing a gentle 15 miles or so per day, taking the whole week to do it, starting each day from the point at which we previously left off.’ 

All proceeds from sponsorship of the walk will be donated to the Mayor’s Charities, which this year are the Level 2 Youth Project and the Felixstowe Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you would like to make a donation and support Graham’s efforts you should click here.

It is now too late to join Graham on the first part of the walk, but he is inviting walkers to join him on August 16th at 10 a.m. as he starts the Suffolk Coast Path walk from the car park at Felixstowe's Landguard Fort, pictured below