News From Harkstead

Peninsula Businessman Gifts 30 Christmas Dinners

Monday, November 18, 15.00

No one should be alone at Christmas and one peninsula businessman has fought loneliness by ensuring at least 30 guests can enjoy a free traditional meal on December 25 at the Baker's Arms, Harkstead. 

Accountant Jeremy Buitenhuis' epiphany came while out on a country stroll counting his blessings and decided to offer the generous gesture to landlady Lybi Bullock, who immediately agreed to host the event at the pub. 

"I will be having a big family meal on Christmas Day but I'm well aware that there will be many elderly people on their own, and that can't be right," said Mr  Buitenhuis. "I had been made aware of rising rural loneliness and I was out walking the dog wondering what I could do about it when the idea came to me. I spoke with Libyi and she has been brilliant and here we are."

Senior citizens can enjoy a free Christmas meal, along with a glass of sherry or wine between 12noon and 3pm on the day and will be picked up and taken home.

Although Mr Buitenhuis is paying for 10 meals, the pub can cater for more and is looking for an extra 10 meals to be covered by other generous individuals or businesses and a Just Giving page has now been set up.

He is also looking for drivers, willing to pick up and drop off diners, gift or cash donations to make it an even more special day..

To offer your help and support, call Mr Buitenhuis on 01473 744700. It is a business line so please be patient and press one on demand. 

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Harkstead Company Shortlisted For Maritime Award

Tuesday, August 13, 10.30

A Suffolk firm, which supplies yacht tenders, toys, gym equipment and other supporting goodies to multi-millionaire superyacht owners, has  been named among the best of the best in the first ever Maritime UK awards.

Superyacht Tenders and Toys (SYTT), based at Harkstead, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the International Trade Award category after impressing industry judges.

The Maritime UK Awards are the first truly national maritime awards in the UK, organised by industry, for the benefit of industry and will be held during the Southampton International Boat Show in September at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in the city's Grand Harbour.

 The recognition is the latest in in a litany of success for SYTT, which won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2017 and in 2018 the company was ranked 45th in the annual Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100.  Earlier this year, SYTT was named British Marine Trade Association’s Business of the Year for showing excellence in 2018 alongside Best Marine Employer under 20 persons.

SYTT managing director Josh Richardson (pictured above with some of his staff) said: “With 95% of our business as export it is a real honour to be a finalist for this national award, amongst some notable significant companies.

"Last year, SYTT grew sales by 38%, employed five more UK staff and increased the size of its premises. Export accounts for 95% of the business with global sales coming from Brazil, Australia, NZ, USA, Middle East and Europe.

"Being shortlisted for this award has been made possible by having an excellent team in the company, who constantly strive to provide the best support to our clients. Something very challenging considering the truly global nature of our business.”

Ben Murray, Director of Maritime UK said: “Our judges have been blown away by the quality of entries in these inaugural awards. The bar really has been set high and the panel have had a difficult task whittling it down to the final shortlist. Those who have been named as finalists should be very proud.”

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Bakers Arms To Host MP's Brexit Debate

Sunday, December 2, 12.30

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge has pledged to vote for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement next week. 

Mr Cartlidge, who voted Remain in 2016, is holding an open debate at the Bakers Arms in Harkstead, on Friday, just four days ahead of a vital vote in the House of Commons on the Prime Minister’s deal on Tuesday, December 11.

The MP, who represents the peninsula, wants to hear from constituents before casting his vote, although he has already made it clear which way he will walk once the divisional bell is rung.

Last month he told the Suffolk Free Press: “I share the concerns of many who worry about the ‘back-stop’ which the EU have insisted on (but would also insist on in any other deal).

“This would see the UK remain in the Customs Union after the transition in order to guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland.

“I spoke privately to both the PM and the Attorney General to seek assurances that the back-stop was very unlikely to be used. Nobody can guarantee this but they were both clear that neither the EU nor the UK would want to use the back-stop if at all possible.

“On the other hand, the proposal has many upsides that Brexiteers voted for – ending free movement; not paying in billions; powers back over farming, fisheries and trade; outside the ECJ’s jurisdiction. Yet, at the same time we would preserve tariff free trade and secure a transitional departure to avoid economic disruption.

“There is no other deal on offer.

“If the vote is lost, we have no deal and that brings massive economic and political risk. We may even end up remaining in the EU via a second referendum which would over-turn the democratic say of all those who voted to leave.

“Thus, I hope that we hear further positive noises from the negotiations but my intent is to vote for the deal. If passed we might also, finally, move the focus of Government onto other vital areas of policy.”

The debate on Friday, December 7, at the Bakers Arms starts at 8.45pm.

Remembrance Tree To Be Planted

Tuesday, November 6, 08.00

Harkstead will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice by planting a tree at Millennium Green. 

The special ceremony, led by paisa council chairman Simon Leatherdalde and Rodney Freeman, chair of the Millennium Green Trustees, will be held on 12.30pm Sunday, November 11, when Chequers tree, a native of East Anglia, in the wild flower part of the green.

The event will follow the Remembrance Service at St Mary;s Church, Harkstead which starts at 10.55am.

The church will also host a Trail of Discovery Saturday, November 24 between 1pm - 4pm.  

All are welcome to explore St Mary's Church and its many fascinating features with illustrations by Charlotte Stewart.  Tea and cake will be available at the event supported by The Arts Society and Orwell Decorative and Fine Arts Society. Contact: Eleanor Soar 01473 327266.

* See our special Remembrance 1918-2018 guide to events and pictures.

Gamekeeper's Daughter Named Chef of the Year

Friday, October 12, 09.00

Chelmondiston cook Jeessica Noy has been named National Eat Game Chef of the Year. 

Jessica, better known as the Gamekeeper’s Daughter, beat off competition from Michelin starred chefs and celebrities, including Richard Corrigan and Tim Kitchen, to scoop the prestigious award in the 'Best Chef Regularly Using Game' category.

Jessica, who usually works from her home kitchen in Chelmondiston, was stunned to learn of her victory at a glittering awards ceremony at Canary Wharf, London, after voters were won over by her use of game and berries, much of it from the Shotley peninsula. 

“I’m still pinching myself that I won Best Chef," said Jessica

"I was up against such stiff competition, so to get the win was an absolutely amazing feeling.

“I'm a country girl from Suffolk with a down to earth approach to game cooking, I'm not a fan of overly fussy traditional game dishes- I try to create simple modern recipes with big flavours - so it's great to be recognised for my work.”

One outstanding dish which helped win her so many votes was her double stacked sour cream fried Partridge Burger with griddled lettuce chipotle cream and her homemade bacon jam.

The Gamekeeper's Daughter began at Harkstead farmers’ market selling game pies as a way of utilising the game shot from the shoot ran by her gamekeeper father, which launched her into the Suffolk food and drink scene.

Jessica has not looked back and has branched into private catering, created a pop-up restaurant in Colchester's derelict bus station, selling street food and cookery teaching.

Her exciting journey into the culinary world has included: cooking squirrel samosas for CBBC, presenting food critic and writer Tom Parker Bowles with my wild rabbit lasagne on ITV's Food Glorious Food and of course winning Young Chef of the Year in 2017.

 Jessica’s wowed the judges then with a wood pigeon salad with blueberry balsamic compote and an inventive aubergine starter with foraged wild garlic. (Pictured)

“Food has been a lifelong obsession for me,” said Jessica, “hugely connected with my love of the countryside.

“As a child i would go foraging for blackberries in the hedgerows and earned my first pocket money through picking wild field mushrooms for a local pub with my father.

“Knowledge of the seasons and foraging plays an important part in how I create my menus, sourcing seasonally and locally is not only ethical and environmentally friendly but it means that the dishes I create truly reflect the area where live Whether it be local venison, foraged berries, or vegetables sourced from local growers , I love to utilise the best produce Suffolk has to offer.”

Jessica currently caters for private but dreams of find a location on the peninsular for a unique pop up restaurant experience.

Next year she plans to publish a cookery book, full of creative recipes using wild produce, foraged and game for the modern cook.

Keep up to date with Jessica’s game journey by going to her website and blog The Gamekeeper's Daughter.

*See what else is happening around the peninsula...

Warriors To Dance For Hope

Wednesday, September 26, 16.00

A troupe of Maasai Warriors are to perform in Harkstead in a bid to deliver hope to their Kenyan village. 

The Osiligi Maasai Warriors return to St Mary's church in the village four years after stunning the audience with an exciting and enthusiastic performance.

Osiligi means hope in Kenyan and the warriors' performances have raised enough funds to take them from destitution in 2002 to helping them build their village in the Kisersian area, some 30 miles from Nairobi.

The Maasai used to be a major force in Kenyan life, and followed a nomadic lifestyle. However, in recent years, the government has given a plot of land to each member of their community,  to stop them wandering, often on to game reserves.

The Maasai numbers have dwindled in recent years, and they now form less than two per cent of the population. By performing their traditional tribal dances, the troupe can share their culture and help people understand their community and history.

The effects of the tours, and the charity that stemmed from them, on the families in the troupe's community,They now have fresh water, a new church/community centre, a beautiful new junior school, probably one of the best in Kenya, with 260 pupils, each of whom have individual UK sponsors, a new clinic and, most recently, a new orphanage. There are also plans to build a senior school for the area.

The Maasai Warrior Troupe will perform, on Friday October 5 starting at 7.30pm, then again on Saturday October 6, at 3pm.

Tickets are £10, this including refreshments, and are obtainable from; Sally Wilden on 01473 327140 or or Eleanor Soar on 01473 327266 or

Atmosphere Key In Farmers Market's Continued Success

Two primary schoolboys are looking to enjoy the sweet taste of success at one of the oldest farmers’ markets in Suffolk. 

Jack and Oliver set up a confectionary stall at Harkstead Farmer's Market every third Saturday of the month and are developing business skills, while make money for video games.

Their mum and dad enjoy a cup of tea and bit of cake inside the village hall while their boys learn about stock control, budgeting, and people skills.

The Chelmondiston primary school pupils only moved to England from Spain last year and so have had to get their heads around pounds and pence coins and notes, after being brought up on Euros.

Gifts from a vintage sweet shop owner from Yorkshire got the budding entrepreneurs on the way and the pair also set up at St Michael’s monthly market at Woolverstone, with the profits going back into stock and buying video games for their downtime.

Jack and Oliver are the youngest stall holders at the Harkstead farmer's market, which is closing on its 20thanniversary and is as popular today as it ever been. 

Tony Leeson, one of the organisors, puts the continued success down to the combined efforts of the sellers, volunteers and regular customers.

“There is a lovely atmosphere here,” said Tony. “It is all very relaxed, people come and have a drink and bit of cake, enjoy a chat and then go round and buy what they need.”

 First time stall holder Tracey Bacon, whose Tropic skin care stall focuses on natural ingredients in its products, was also struck by the warm atmosphere.

“It has been lovely coming here,” said Tracey. “People have been very friendly and shown a lot of interest. I will definitely be back again.”   

Others, such as East End Butchers, have been long-time regulars and believe customers relish locally produced, fresh foods, combined with the welcoming atmosphere.

The range is wide with meats, cheeses, baked goods and ‘Holy’ honey from Holbrook, alongside high quality, bespoke chocolate, jams and, of course Jack and Oliver’s selection of sweets.

While there are the regular foodstuffs, each market brings with it seasonal fruit and veg, while cuttings and pot planta for sale. adorn the  car park

Non-food stuff includes a stall of cleverly carved wood, salvaged from storm damaged woodlands and make up products.

A delicate mix of smells and the gentle buzz of conversation adds to the wonderfully friendly atmosphere at the market which runs from 9am – 12noon.

The money raised from selling stalls, home-made bread, cakes, and biscuits, goes towards running the village hall, the Good Neighbours scheme and the church.

But, like many community organisations they are in need of young blood and anyone interested in getting involved, or would like to book a stall, can contact Tony or Sarah:

Click or more pictures...

Bakers Arms Moves to Paper Straws

Thursday, March 8, 17.00

It is Paper Not Plastic straws in the Bakers Arms from now on as landlord Michael Elvis backs our campaign as part of the bid to protect sea-life.

Located a short distance from the the river Stour, the Bakers Arms is very much the hub of Harkstead and the surrounding area, and Mr Elvis is an integral part of the community.

"I'm more than happy to support Paper Not Plastic," said Mr Elvis. "This is something I have been planning to do for a while so it is excellent timing."

The Bakers Arms hosts regular quizzes, curry nights and a raft of other social events and group meetings.

A huge rugby fan, with strong connections to Harlequins, Michael often shows the Six Nations games at the pub are all shown on the big screen at the Bakers Arms.

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