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COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS - 11 August from Richard Hewitt

At our Parish Council meeting of 7 August, we welcomed new member John Phillips. We are delighted to have John on board and to have his range of skills and experience available to our community.  In passing, we still have one vacancy for a place on the council……may I mention we have a gender imbalance, weighted towards the male gender?

As I write this, early in the morning, the sun is actually shining!  One of the key words in planning and development these days is ‘sustainability’ – let us hope that we have some of this where August sun is concerned – especially for parents and carers running out of indoor activities for our school-holidaying youngsters, and for our farmers very much engaged in the outdoor activity of Harvest.

The face of authority still seems to be set against any modification to the plans for making the Harvest House grain storage facility, on the A1066, any more acceptable to our residents in the homes that will be affected. The Parish Council very much supports our farmers and all community members, but we are saddened that our District Council did not smooth the process of planning by encouraging a more open process, greater consultation and development of awareness of the impact if the full proposals materialise.  Several issues are outstanding, and these include the question of access to the ‘facility’ from the A1066 and the control of noise and other environmental impact. As a Parish Council, we will persist with our efforts to secure the best of outcomes for our community.   We are not the planning authority (SNDC is!) – but a ‘statutory consultee’, and we are grateful indeed to others who support the drive for common sense over this issue. Co-existence has to be achieved. I continue to pay tribute to Mervyn for his great efforts and open-handedness on the community’s behalf.

Our August meeting also included the issue of our water supply – Anglia Water has had to carry out some remedial work on the water mains – leaks have produced low pressure, or no water at all in some of our homes due to leaks and resulting repairs. We will ‘encourage’ any necessary updating of water supply infrastructure, possibly by co-ordinating our efforts with other councils and agencies involved. We continue to encourage Norfolk CC to maintain our roads in a safe and passable condition, and to liaise with the police and others on the matters of heavy lorries, often at unsociable hours (eg 0540!), and the need for all motorists to drive safely in our villages:  the speeding statistics are horrific, but do provide hard evidence of the need for enforcement action. I finish on three strong positives: congratulations to St. John’s church community in Bressingham for the brilliant Medieval Weekend, when we were transported back to the England of the fifteenth century.  I reckoned that approaching 500 people enjoyed the event immensely – a huge achievement, and a fitting celebration of Bressingham’s glorious church building. Our other parish church, St. Andrew’s, Fersfield, is hosting a Music Camp Day, for people over the age of 8, on Monday 21 August. This promises to give tremendous fun and educational value – for total novices and experienced performers alike. (The PC is one of the sponsors of this event). Finally, we are looking at the possibility of a future Bressingham/Fersfield Fete or similar event (a possibility raised by a community representative at our meeting). Let us know what you think.
Finally, we wish you an August that from now on has plenty of blue sky for us all.

What a brilliant weekend!  Thankfully, Saturday’s heavy rain did not deter people from attending.  Demowbrays Retinue, a troupe of living history interpreters, were superb. Each of the 17 characters, ranging from the Duchess, Elizabeth de Mowbray to a humble baker, managed to convey 15th century England for the 430 visitors who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event.
Demowbrays attention to detail was astounding: all the tents, costumes and artefacts such as medieval fiddles were carefully researched and authentically recreated. Demowbrays stayed in character throughout - visitors could have come early morning to see them mustering and holding household prayers in Latin. Their historical research was meticulous, such as recreating 15th Century Bressingham manorial court under the lordship of Sir Thomas Pilkington. Processing each afternoon into the church led by the Duchess, Elizabeth de Mowbray, Demowbrays were truly magnificent to see. They very effectively kept a balance between entertaining and informing people about the medieval manorial court system. The court culminated with the baker found guilty of selling underweight bread and led out of the church to the stocks, to be pelted by the visitors with eggs!

Visitors also enjoyed looking at the historical documents and local history display in the church. Thanks to the recent Heritage Lottery Funded bench ends research project, many admired and learned about Bressingham Church's magnificent and rare late 15th century to mid 16th century ornately carved bench ends. Visitors further appreciated seeing the archaeological finds discovered during building repair groundworks, especially as one of the archaeologists, Simon Underdown, helped out at the event explaining the finds. Visitors were further treated to medieval music beautifully played on the organ by Adrian Kitchen. And, of course, refreshments were served by a welcoming team of volunteers. Visitors were treated to a wide variety of home-baked cakes and savoury items, plus Pimms and a delicious local ale were served. At the end of each day, Demowbrays Retinue reentered the church to drink this ale in recreation of a traditional leet ale. A wonderful weekend!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered at the event, baked cakes, delivered or displayed flyers and shook Donation buckets. Special thanks goes to Diana Burroughes for her dedication to the survival of Bressingham Church, her brilliant front-of-house skills, and encouragement of the Bressingham Church team! VIEW PHOTOS taken by KRYS WAKEFIELD and DAVID TUPPER >>

Click here to download and print the information sheet and entry form

The first was a talk on 17th July by Norma Howell on the subject of "Medical Detection Dogs".   Sadly no dogs attended but we were very interested to hear all about two areas where dogs are making a significant impact – Bio Detection Dogs can be trained to identify the odour of cancer and contribute to the development of a simple method of non-invasive cancer diagnosis, We were impressed to note that these working dogs do not live in kennels, but with families and are transported into work on work days.

Medical Alert Assistance Dogs with their amazing sense of smell support individuals who live with dangerous health conditions and live at home with their charges. We saw some examples of how having such a dog can transform lives. Those who want to find out more can do so on the website: www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk

The second event was our trip to The Old Vicarage Gardens at East Ruston where the weather was kind to us and we had plenty of time to enjoy the enormous gardens with such a variety of areas that there was something to appeal to everyone’s taste.

The plant shop did a roaring trade and the coach boot held a fragrant cargo on the way home.

We do not have a meeting in August, but return in September where Basil Abbott will be talking on “The Manning Family – Friends in High Places” Monday 18th September at 19.30, Bressingham Village Hall.

As usual the evening will give everyone a chance to catch up with friends or make new ones over refreshments at the end. Guests are welcome and despite the title of our club, men are allowed.  The cost for a non-member for the talks in the current programme is £3.

Click here to see our 2017/2018 Programme >  

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Bressingham Church, Heritage Lottery Fund Building Repairs Blog by Linda Holly
The Bressingham Church Restoration Blog is about the Heritage Lottery Funded repair works to the church which began on 2 May 2017.  Use the direct link to the Church Blog on our top menu to read all about what's happening.

Mon 21   Music Camp - St Andrew's Church, Fersfield - see below
Tue 22   BROADS DAY TRIP AND BOAT CRUISE - see newsletter below for details
Sun 10   Flower Show, Bressingham Village Hall
Tue 12   Afternoon Club
Mon 18   7.30 Bressingham & Dictrict Ladies Club, Bressingham Village Hall - Basil Abbott:- The Manning Family-Friends in High Places. Non-members welcome
Sat 23   BBQ & QUIZ EVENING - Afternoon Club - see newsletter below for details
Tue 26   Lunch at South Lopham White Horse
Tue 10   Afternoon Club
Mon 16   7.30 Bressingham & Dictrict Ladies Club, Bressingham Village Hall - Barbarette Mortimer:- Pull yourself together…! (The work of a Counsellor). Non-members welcome
Tue 17   Afternoon Tea & Sing-a-Long - Afternoon Club - see newsletter below for details
Tue 14   Afternoon Club
Jan 9   Afternoon Club - First of the New Year
Feb 13   Afternoon Club - 2nd Anniversary

Click her to email Richard Hewitt


Click here to email Jackie
YOGA - Mon 9.30-11.00 am - Bressingham Village Hall
Hatha yoga, taught by Jackie Samways, a British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher. Suitable for all abilities, complete beginners to experienced, and all ages. For more info please contact Jackie on 01379 650513/mobile 07868 314805 or jackiecornish@live.com
GENTLE, CHAIR-BASED YOGA - Monday 11.15-12.15
Ideal for those unable to attend a general class AND anyone interested in a gentler approach to yoga postures, meditation, breath work and relaxation. Mainly chair-based, with some standing to encourage increased joint mobility, improve circulation, confidence and strength and general well-being. For details contact Jackie Samways,details above.
Various teams play at Bressingham on Saturday mornings and Sunday. Teams from U7 up to U16 age groups with coaching for girls and boys starting from 5 years old. Contact Mark Channell by email at markv414@hotmail.com or call T: 01379 650591.
All enquiries re becoming a member and use of the court to
Brenda Webb T: 01379 688375 or email
The course (open at all times) is in Village Hall Car Park. Anyone in the community is welcome to play - Bring your own boules.

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Bressingham Steam & Gardens
Local resident's discount of 20% off a 1-3 person season ticket or 30% off a 4+ person from the same local address. Claim your discount by showing proof of residence (eg a recent utility bill) when buying your tickets. Visit their website for more information >

Postcard of Bressingham Church by Diana Burroughes
A lovely coloured postcard of the church is now on sale in the church at 50p.  This was taken by Mervyn Porter with the help of Mervyn Lambert.  Mervyn and Claire Porter have very kindly had 1000 printed and have donated them to the church for which we are all most grateful.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED from Richard Hewitt
You will know that we have a citizens’ watch system in our parishes, which is designed to help protect our homes and other properties from criminal activity. Michelle Lanchester has said that we need more volunteers to make this scheme more effective. If you would like to help or obtain further details, please contact PC 1224 Jim Squires, on 01953 423773 or 07766 990811

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