News From The Villages
Fire Crews Stretched As Blaze Destroys Acres of Crops
Monday, July 16, 21.00
Suffolk fire crews were stretched to breaking point today with two fires on the Shotley peninsula at the same time as eight other incidents in the county.
Pumps from Sudbury and Ixworth, were diverted to support a crew from Ipswich East to deal with a house fire at Erwarton, while a total of nearly 30 emergency vehicles were fighting a blaze in a crop field, which threatened house-boats at Pin Mill.
Almost 15 acres of farmland is estimated to have been destroyed by the blaze, made worse by winds sweeping across the recently harvested crop.
Smoke could be seen in many parts of the peninsula and across the river Orwell at Levington and Felixstowe, as hay went up in flames in a field between Chelmondiston and Shotley.
Emergency vehicles were mobilised from all parts of Suffolk and Essex, including the Holbrook on-call firefighters and crews from Manningtree, Nayland, Hadleigh, Orford, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Framlingham, Southwold, Colchester and Halstead, to fight the fire near Hill Farm.
These included extra water tenders and specialist fire officers, while HM Coastguard were called in on stand-by to evacuate the owners of the house-boats at Pin Mill.
Danny Mills, 38, from Chelmondiston said: "It started about 2pm and I could see it from the main road driving to Shotley.
"When I came back about an hour later it was still going strong and fire engines were streaming up the road.
"The important thing is no one was hurt. I feel for the farmer losing his crops but I'm glad everyone is OK."
Meanwhile, the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Services were called to shouts in Redgrave, Ipswich and Sudbury at the same time.
The combination of events highlighted the need for more on-call firefighters throughout the county, including Holbrook, which has been involved in five incidents within three days.
Football's Coming Home
Wednesday, July 11, 06.00
The flags are out, the 'Three Lions' song is being sung everywhere as homes and businesses across the peninsula are backing England's bid to win the World Cup.
England take on Croatia tonight, at 7pm, in the Luznhiki Stadium, Moscow, (where Ipswich once beat Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup), and patriotic football fans have been showing their support by displaying the St George's cross. Click to see our picture special.
Homes from Holbrook, Woolverstone, Brantham, and Shotley are proudly flying the flag, with some very creative displays.
Many people will watch the game at home or head for their local to watch the quarter-final today, hoping Gareth Southgate's Three Lions can make it through to the final against France on Sunday, in the same stadium.
Some pubs on the peninsula will be showing the game live, with the Bristol Arms being at 6pm., while The Shipwreck is open all day.
Customers can get a free drink at The White Horse in Tattingstone if England win, while Camra pub of the year the Wheatsheaf has the game on as does the Bakers Arms in Harkstead, The Cattawade Crown, and it will be on in the background at the Bull In Brantham.
The Shotley Rose has proved a popular venue with gallon dispensers filled with lager selling at eight pints for the price of seven. Landlady Sarah is planning to auction off the much sought after dispensers with monies raised going to Shotley Kidzone.
There are many omens in England's favour. Including the fact Pep Guardiola managed Barcelona when they won La Liga and Spain won the World Cup.
The coach led Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga title when Germany won the World Cup four years ago, and of course his current club Manchester City won this season's Premier League.
Takeaway Not Closing - Just Having Day Off
Thursday, July 5, 13.00
The owners of the Lasan takeaway in Shotley have reassured customers they are not closing down.
Mohammed Ali and Bodrul Islam do plan to have Tuesdays off as from July 17 but apart from that it will be business as usual.
Concerned customers of the popular combined fish and chip and Indian food takeaway were worried the shop was closing but joint owner Mohammed Ali has assured everyone their favourite dishes will continue to be served up.
"We mentioned on social media were going to close on Tuesday but that somehow got turned into we were closing", said Mr Ali. "I can assure everyone we are not closing down. We are simply looking to have day off.
"Ideally we could do with having another chef then we can stay open but as it is at the moment both Bodrul and I have to be in every evening.
"Our families need us too, so we have taken the decision to give ourselves Tuesday evenings off.
"A couple of customers have come in and said how sorry they were to hear we were closing, their concern is really touching but they need not worry."
The duo took over at the former chippy almost five years ago and built up a fabulous reputation for their food and service, with many regular customers from across the peninsula enjoying the mix of quality Indian dishes and traditional fish and chip suppers.
Mr Ali added: "We enjoy being in Shotley, we have wonderful customers, of course like most places we would like to be busier sometimes, but on the whole we like like to provide a good, consistent service to our customers, many are now our friends too."
The Lasan is very much part of the peninsula community and supports many local causes.
Armistice Silhouette Grant Bid Extended
Wednesday, June 27, 14.00
Groups looking to mark the 1918 Armistice centenary have been given extra time to bid for 'There But Not There' silhouettes.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is making awards to community groups and not for profit organisations. Groups can access up to 10 evocative silhouettes to provide a focus for community events that bring Armed Forces Communities and civilian communities together.
Interest has been widespread and now the programme to support communities to come together to remember the Armistice and think about Armed Forces Communities has extended its deadline to July 16 2018.
While November may seem like a long way off, many community groups, schools, village halls and places of worship are thinking about the Armistice; and how, as part of this; they can work to build good links with the Armed Forces today.
Grants manager Rachel Dawkins said: "Applicants have been talking to us; telling about the great events they are planning. We know that some groups are planning projects involving a number of local organisations, and worried about not having their event fully planned
"Apply to us and give us an idea of what you want to do. Tell us what you are planning. The application form is really straightforward.
"We are extending the programme because applicants have told us that they would like more time to think about their events. It is however fine to apply even if your event is not fully planned.
We need to run the application process now to ensure that silhouettes to award holders are delivered in good time for events in October and November this year.
Applicants need to apply by July 16; and if they need to, they can spend time after that developing their event more fully. If an organisation receives an award; that may help to drive interest and engagement with local events.
Quiz, Father's Day And The World Cup
Friday, June 15, 16.00
Give your dad a special day while you can, surprise yourself and friends with your breadth of general knowledge, and enjoy watching England kick of their World Cup campaign with mates and a tailor-made gallon beer dispenser.
The weather is predicted to be hot on Sunday for Father's Day and many of our much-vaunted pubs are taking bookings.
Either pop over on the ferry, or wander down to the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant but be warned, you will need to book ahead for inside, or take your chance dining al fresco. (See advert on page)
It is the same story at the Bristol Arms on Sunday, with only a few tables left, so call Shane on 787200 to book. The pub will also have the football on, with the England game on from 6pm.
It promises to be yet another busy weekend at the Rose Inn, Shotley too. Saturday night is a charity quiz for Tiffers, the Bus Shelter project for the homeless. (see poster). Sunday is Father's Day, and again you will need to book as Jamie's lunches are legendary. Call 787237.
Sarah has secured some excellent eight-pint towers from Carlsberg, with a gallon of lager selling for the price of seven pints. There will also be food orders taken before the game kicks off. Click on Rose advert (right)
The Bakers Arms at Harkstead has an excellent garden as an overspill if the restaurant gets fully booked. So don't miss out call Michael on 326904.
The Cookhouse restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall, is offering a special menu with two courses at £20 and three for £25.
Work up an appetite for your Fathers' Day lunch with a walk, cycle or sail at Alton Water. Nearby pubs include the Wheatsheaf and White Horse at Tattingstone, the Kings Head and Gardeners Arms in Stutton or Swan and Compasses in Holbrook.
Slightly different, is the Table Top sale at grantham Village Hall on Saturday. (See community posters)
Contact: email@example.com to let us know what you are putting on.
Amazing Collection Of Training Slides Revealed
Scores of training stills and films discovered by HMS Ganges Museum archivists have been brought back to life.
After laying unused for more than 40 years flickering film showing life at Ganges in the 1940s and 1950s were digitised by peninsula video specialists Memory Magic, from Brantham.
Rare footage of Royal Navy recruitment films was transferred from cine tapes to a DVD and a memory stick, making it universally accessible now.
HMS Ganges Museum will show the newly converted videos as part of their display and volunteers can use the stills to demonstrate what trainees were taught at the famed Royal Navy training establishment at Shotley Gate.
A grant of almost £500 was made available from the Stour and Orwell Society as part of their Lottery Funding, made possible by Babergh’s Communities team for a large screen and video equipment designed to show historic films showing life on the peninsula over the years.
SOS secretary Rodney Chadburn said: “The Stour and Orwell Society is committed to preserving heritage assets on the peninsula, both historic and landscape, so we are delighted to give further support through our HLF project grant.”
Although Ganges’ reputation for toughening up recruits so they went from boys to men, by doubling up and down Faith, Hope and Charity, drilled for hours on the parade ground, and scrambled up and down the 143ft mast, it also ensured the mind was expanded so sailors were reasonably worldly-wise ready to join the fleet.
The training stills, which were used in slideshows for the trainees, some as young as 15, educated the youngsters on a wide range of matters.
Pictures explaining the issues at Aden and the Suez Canal, also show life in the middle east and the role the Royal Navy played.
Background information and photographs of the then British colonies of Singapore and Hong Kong prepared the young sailors for their likely future visits to the Far East.
The young Matelots were also taught the importance of vocabulary, local government from 1946, and the British constitution.
Basic geography, the climate, science in everyday life and the seasons were also covered during their time at Ganges.
There are also training sessions put together by the British Army on atomic energy and intelligent listening, first produced in 1945 and 1946.
All sailors were required to learn basic seamanship and there are training stills of anchor work, boats and boat work, marks of rank, and using a one inch map.
Things have moved on since the Navy needed to be vigilant of mine-watching afloat, but the importance of tradition and the honourable history of the senior service is highlighted in a lesson on famous ships, including the Revenge.
A HMS Ganges Museum spokesman said: “These are a wonderful reminder to all former Ganges boys of the training we went through.
“The Navy used to love a good film show as a way of educating young trainees.
“Finding these, and having them converted so everyone can now enjoy what we shown and learnt, is fascinating and enlightening.
“We want to thank the Stour and Orwell Society for funding this, Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis for helping in pulling it all together and local firm Memory Magic for their expertise in converting these wonderful old images.”
It is envisaged the stills and films will be displayed at public events on the peninsula, using film equipment provided by the Stour and Orwell Society, which si available for loan to community groups.
Plenty To Do On The Peninsula This Weekend
Friday, June 8, 13.00
A jazz picnic, village, fete, farm open day and petanque-a-thon are among the events going on across the peninsula this weekend.
With sunny weather predicted, hundreds of people are expected to visit the area and families can enjoy everything the area offers.
Woolverstone school is hosting a jazz picnic (see poster)
The Wheatsheaf pub at Tattingstone is home to a charity 24-hour petanque marathon. Live music, barbecues and a hog roast will help entertain the crowds at the pub as the games are played by two hardy contestants taking on all-comers, setting tonight at 6pm and carrying on all day Saturday.
Pond Hall farm, Warren Lane Erwarton, is open from 1pm as part of a nationwide campaign by Linking Environment And Farming, allowing people to learn more about environmental stewardship as well as a variety of arable crops.
A new book celebrating Holbrook between the war years 1914-1918 will be on sale, at Holbrook's fete on Saturday, with the traditional stalls and activities available.
Alton Water Park is open to visitors with its miles of trails, cycle hire is available and a new tea room offering a range of refreshments.
The bakers Arms at Harkstead is a short walk from the lovely beach there, while at the top end of the peninsula the Bristol Arms, Shipwreck bar and Shotley Rose are gearing up to welcome day-trippers, locals and visiting sailors.
Repairs Ongoing As Water Problems Hit The Peninsula
UPDATED:Wednesday, June 6, 07.30
Anglian Water engineers are hoping to complete repairs to a burst water main in Holbrook by 1pm today.
While many areas on the peninsula are getting good water service, the mains problem in Church Hall Road, requires more detailed repairs.
An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Our engineers will then be working to install a new value onto the existing water pipe this evening, which will restore supplies to all customers,” a spokesman added yesterday.
“Church Hill Road will need to remain closed, while we make the necessary repairs to the burst pipe and repair the road surface. Our teams will be working through the night to get this done as quickly as possible, but we estimate the full repair will take a few days to complete.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes and would like to thank customers for the patience while we make these vital repairs.”
Tuesday, June 5, 15.00
Anglian Water was today flooded with complaints after numerous problems swamped the Shotley peninsula.
Officials from the water company estimated the problems would be resolved by 9pm, although hoped it could be sooner.
A burst water main in Holbrook was blamed for number of issues as far afield as, Capel, Chelmondiston and Shotley from about 9am.
Numerous householders complained as three leaks were reported to Anglian Water in Holbrook, dirty running water was reported in Shotley Gate, with other leaks also affecting homes.
Low water pressure and dirty water coming out of taps hit hundreds of homes on the peninsula.
And Anglian Water statement said: "We’re sorry some customers in the Shotley, Holbrook and Tattingstone area may have low water pressure or no water at all today. This has been caused by a burst water main.
"When the water supply comes back some customers may notice their water is a cloudy or discoloured. This is caused by millions of tiny air bubbles in the pipe and is completely harmless.
"If you leave the water to clear in a glass or run your tap for a bit it will soon disappear."
UPDATE: Most areas on the peninsula had a good water supply from approximately 16.30 onwards as the water main was repaired.
Tuck Into Your Local Fish & Chips On National Day
Friday, June 1, 09.00
Locally caught fish is on offer peninsula wide today as part National Fish and Chip day.
Pubs and takeaways are hoping for an even bigger demand for the nation's favourite Friday food as the food industry promotes fish and chips.
Cod is very much coming into season and stocks off the East Anglian coast are understood to be number this year.
Michael Eavis, landlord of The Bakers Arms at Harkstead, always gets his fish from a Lowestoft supplier, while Shane Rolin at the Bristol Arms, Shotley gets his from even closer to home with Deben river-based Simpers bringing in their catch from coastal waters just off Suffolk and Essex.
While his wet fish also comes from local suppliers, Shotley Rose chef Jamie Barwick has been known to nip across on the ferry to buy the freshest of lobsters and crabs, and are usually cooked and sold the same day.
Iconic fresh cod or haddock and chips are popular at the Lasan takeaway that also like to keep it local, and serve theirs along with a range of curry dishes.
Not only can you enjoy the traditional fish fayre at The Shipwreck, but you can look out over the harbour and see the occasional fishermen in action.
In Holbrook, you can get your fish and chips takeaway and then eat them with a drink in The Swan, Alec and his staff will even provide cutlery.
Many people don't need a national day to mark eating Britain's most famous food, but it is great excuse to tuck in to some succulent fish and properly fried golden chips from your local chippy or pub on the peninsula.
The tradition of eating fish on Friday goes back centuries after Christians were told not to eat meat on Friday's as that was the day Jesus died. This is still continued to this day, especially among Catholics, and fish remains popular, especially cod.
Arguably The Prettiest Bus Stop In Suffolk
Waiting for a bus can be a pretty depressing time even in the best of weather, but it helps when you can gaze upon a wonderful blaze of colours.
This bus stop could well be the prettiest bus stop in Suffolk with its blue ceanothus and the various shades of yellow broom and green bushes.
Added to that, are the flying visitors with bees and butterflies giving a real life motion show.
Users of the 97, 98 and 202, can enjoy this glorious array on the Main Road, Shotley, just around the corners from Great Harlings and Gate Farm Road.
Passengers on the route to Ipswich via Chelmondiston, Harkstead and Holbrook will find an amazing array of colour just by gazing out of the windows with fields of crops flowering, along with wild flowers on verges and hedgerows.
Move a little off the main road and the woodlands and meadows are ablaze with bluebells, wild garlic and many hues of green and gold.
Do you know a prettier bus stop, or just want to share your colourful floral pictures - email firstname.lastname@example.org
SOS Suspend Relations With Parish Council As Frustration Grows
Tuesday, May 15, 18.00
Shotley Open Spaces have suspended working in Heritage Wood, including Shotley cliffs, after feeling increasingly frustrated by the parish council’s lack of cooperation.
SOS will continue to work on other areas in the village to ensure paths are kept cleared, especially for those people using buggies or wheelchairs.
The community group, took the decision at their latest committee meeting, which are open to the public, after four key problems with Shotley Parish Council were identified.
Despite repeated requests by SOS chairman, and now parish councillor Gary Richens, over the past three months for information from the council, the parish clerk has failed to respond.
Dina Bedwell (left), who is also clerk to Debenham and Brundish parish councils, claimed at the last month’s parish council meeting she had been too busy.
Problems with the council include a failure by the council to revise the Service Level Agreement needed to carry out work in the area along with the Community Rehabilitation team, which would include repairs to the concrete footpath support wall, despite assurances by the chairman Barrie Powell modifications had been made.
Despite having three named liaising members, Mr Powell (right), Richard Wrinch and Maureen Williams, no parish councilors have attended the last two SOS meetings, or sent apologies, leaving the group unclear about the value placed by the council on the group’s community work.
Shotley PC is refusing to carry on as lead in terms of protecting the Shotley cliffs saying they will not be responsible for phase three, which they already hold the licence, and are claiming legal problems about aspects of phases one and two, although refuse to produce any evidence of what police involvement is currently being undertaken.
Members of SOS are horrified of the extensive cutting back of woodland and undergrowth, vital to birds and wildlife, at the Heritage Park and want to distance themselves from the needless destruction.
The PC claim the fire service told them they had to provide a firebreak, yet were unable to produce any evidence the fire service requested this.
Indeed Henry Landis, Suffolk Fire Service Inspecting Officer for protection (fire safety), told Peninsula News: “There is nothing laid down anywhere about the proximity of woodland to dwellings from the point of view of fire safety.
“There may be a responsibility of the owners of woodlands to maintain the woods so that trees are not dangerous and won’t cause damage to adjacent property.
"We did have an enquiry (from Shotley Parish Council) about creating a fire break a few weeks ago, but the same information was provided to them, that there is no legislation that we are aware of that would require fire breaks to be created.”
Cllr Powell apologised for the amount of woodland and undergrowth cut back, yet went out again on his own to mow over the same area, last week.
Mr Richens added: “We have had enough of the way the parish council has treated us. Certain people on there are being obstructive and creating unnecessary problems, while seemingly pursuing their own agenda.
“SOS will continue to work for the benefit of the wider community and we appreciate the support we have had by the vast majority of Shotley residents, and visitors to the village.”
The parish council were asked on Monday to comment, but have so far failed to respond.
There has been increasing friction between the SOS group and the parish council and its clerk Mrs Bedwell, ever since the community volunteer organisation was started, in 2016.
A dispute over Mrs Bedwell’s refusal to pay Geraint Pugh expenses for money he spent on getting Christmas trees and the associated lights and that led to Mr Pugh resigning.
Cllr Richens resigned in support of Mr Pugh and other resignations resulted in the Open Spaces and Amenities Committee folded.
Mr Pugh was eventually paid the money owed and exonerated of any wrongdoing or blame.
A number of incidents involving the clerk and members of serving councilors has deepened the rift with the SOS volunteers.
Last year the parish council threatened legal action against the group when Clllr Powell made comments at their committee meeting, which was open to the public, regarding Mrs Bedwell’s conduct and action he claimed at been taken against her.
The comments were recorded contemporaneously and minuted, all members accepted and signed the minutes, therefore the comments by Cllr Powell were covered by qualified privilege.
However, an extraordinary council meeting was called and held in the Shipwreck bar, where councilors agreed to spend up to £700 on pursuing the possibility of taking legal action against SOS for publishing Cllr Powell’s alleged defamatory comments about the clerk.
No such threats were ever followed up and the council issued a statement denying Mrs Bedwell had ever been subjected to disciplinary action at that time.
Recently a row erupted at a parish council meeting when Cllr Richens asked why he had not received information he had requested, and Mrs Bedwell claimed she did not have time to send the information.
Meanwhile, a community group in Hadleigh have requested the existing town council resigns over issues regarding matters, including the Neighbourhood Development Plan, or hold a referendum as part of a motion of no confidence.
Fortnight Of Annual Parish Meetings Starts
Monday, May 14, 07.00
A number of peninsula villages are holding their annual meetings over the next couple off weeks.
Unlike Parish Council AGMs where council business is discussed, parish meetings are an opportunity for local groups and organisations to recruit new volunteers, give reports of their activities over the past year and generally promote their good work.
The meeting can also offer an opportunity for villagers to make comment and air views on issues which concern them.
The relevant County and District councillors also provide their annual reports.
Harkstead's meeting starts at 8pm, Monday May 14, following the Village Hall Committee AGM, where a variety of items will be discussed. These include reports from the highly respected Good Neighbour Scheme, the Boothby Trust and the Jack Cartwright Trust. All are welcome. See Agenda.
Wherstead's annual general parish meetings at the Village Hall, The Street, starts at 7pm where a variety of reports, including one from Tattingstone Primary School's head of governors , will be made
Chelmondiston, will hold their annual parish meeting at the village hall,on Tuesday May 22, 7pm (not May 30 as originally planned). Groups and organisations are encouraged to bring along as much publicity material a possible, which will be displayed at the back of the hall.
Reports from the Carpey Bowls club, primary school, Chelpin Players, Good Neighbours Group and the WI, are scheduled to be heard. Parishioners are invited to speak or ask questions. See agenda here.
The parish council is looking for people to help look after the two defibrillators at Pin Mill and Chelmondiston and can contact the clerk Jill Davis on 780159, for information on training and cover dates.
Woolverstone will hold their annual parish meeting on Thursday, May 24 starting at 8pm following the council's monthly meeting at Berners Hall, starting at 7.30pm.
Tattingstone and Shotley will also hold their parish meetings that evening.
Plenty To Do On This Beautiful May Bank Holiday Weekend
Friday, May 4, 10.00
The weather promises to be good and there are loads of events and attractions to visit on the peninsula this May Bank holiday weekend.
Hundreds of runners will take part on the Alton Water Run on Sunday, May 6, with 10km, 5km and 2km in support of local schools.
Stutton, Tattingstone and Holbrook primary schools, along with Holbrook Academy will benefit from donations raised.
The first race starts at 9.45am, and the whole final runners are expected back by 1pm, although activities will continue into the afternoon.
With a newly renovated cafe under new management, an in-house cycle hire centre and superbly crafted play area, Alton Water is proving popular with families who enjoy walking, cycling or just plain relaxing near water and woodland.
For those that enjoy communal barbecues then all are welcome to the Bristol Arms on Monday, May 7, at 2pm, where children and dogs are welcome with their owners.
With the beach opposite, seats outside the pub and great walks nearby, the Bristol Arms offers something for everyone.
If you like live music then Coast are playing at the Shotley Rose on Saturday, from 8.30pm, and there will be 12oz rib-eye, fish lasagne, and Tex Mex burger. on the specials menu.
A Band called Malice are playing at Brantham Village Hall on Saturday, also starting at 8.30pm.
The Shipwreck Loft is an ideal B&B to stay over for the weekend and use as a base for bird-watchers, walkers, cyclists, sailors and visitors. The Shipwreck bar and restaurant offers a wide range of food and drinks with excellent views across the entrance to the rivers Stour and Orwell and across to Harwich and Felixstowe.
HMS Ganges Museum, based next to the Shipwreck, will be open 11am-5pm.
Sew and So are holding their monthly craft event at Harkstead Village Hall from 9am. See poster.
For those who like to escape to someone a bit more secluded then Harkstead beach is ideal, with the Bakers Arms the ideal stopping off point.
Car-booters will be delighted to letdown to Stutton Community hall on Monday, May 7 where the car boot starts at 9am until 12noon. See poster.
Quizzers can test their knowledge at Shotley Village Hall on Saturday, May 5 from 7pm.
For those looking for something a bit different, then the Death Cafe at St Michael's Church Woolverstone offers coffee, cake and stimulating conversation from 11, Sunday, May 6.
If you know of community event happening this weekend please Contact Us and send us details.
Orwell Bridge Reopens
Monday, April 30, 07.30
Traffic is getting back to normal after the Orwell Bridge re-opened following an overnight closure.
Motorists coming off the peninsula this morning were delayed along Wherstead Road before the bridge opened in both directions at just before 07.00 this morning.
High winds had forced the closure just after midnight on Monday morning.
Retro Cars At The Rose, Wedding Show At Copdock Hall
Sunday, April 29, 07.00
East Coast Retro Cars are on show at the Shotley Rose field today.
Dozens of eye-catching classic models will be on display from 11am as enthusiasts gather to show off their highly-polished cars.
Souped up Escorts mingle with Hillman Imps and MGs as cars from the 50s, 60, 70s and 80s casts the mind down Memory Lane.
The Rose pub will be open for refreshments and lunches.
Meanwhile, for those with marriage in mind Copdock Hall is hosting a wedding event starting at 11am.
The first 20 would-be brides get glass of bubbly on arrival, the grooms arriving after 1pm get a bottle of beer. There is free parking and with 30 top wedding companies on display at this much-desired Tudor Barn venue, is a must visit wedding fair.
Council Decline To Support Pier Plans
Friday, April 20, 07.00
Shotley parish councillors last night declined to support an application to build a workshop, offices, and a café area capable of seating 84 visitors on Shotley pier.
Plans to build two buildings either side, but attached the pier have been submitted to Babergh District Council and despite an assertion to the contrary by Sally Chicken, the application will be given permission as shown, or refused.
The application by the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society Is a full application, therefore there can be no further changes to the plans once the decision ha been made, unless a new application is made.
Mrs Chicken, who is vice-chair of the society, was allowed by Parish Council chairman Barrie Powell, who is a board member of the applicant, argued that 30 public meetings had been held to gauge opinion on what the pier should be used for, although the public did not see the designs before the planning application was made.
Parish councilors at the village hall last night expressed concern at the size and scale of the development, aired worries about car parking on Bristol Hill and other surrounding roads if the 84 seats were utilised, for whatever reason.
Mrs Chicken, of Main Road, Chelmondiston, compared Shotley’s 122-year-old pier with Harwich’s Victorian pier, which has always been heavily commercialised.
She also pointed out that the longest part of the two 15ft high buildings, which will house the café and small kitchen was only 98ft, with the extra area of seating another 38ft, making the proposed development area nearly 138ft in total.
Cllr Powell admitted villagers had told him they thought the development looked too modern, and was not suitable for a Victorian pier, and car parking would be an issue.
Cllrs Gary Richens and Robbie Green declared a non-pecuniary interest as they had bought shares, but never expected to make a profit.
Along with Cllrs Richard Wrinch and Jim Catlin they all echoed those concerns and wanted to reserve judgement until the final design of the pier was clearer and car parking problems were addressed.
Suffolk County Council Highways have no plans to alter the current car parking arrangements, and the plans submitted for the buildings are the ones that will be considered by Babergh. As Babergh gave the original pier group a £20,000 to get the project off the ground, and due to other planning reasons, it is likely the application will be called to the planning committee rather than being decided under officer delegation.
Concerns were also raised about the pier’s activities affecting employment in the area as jobs could be lost. Mrs Chicken said that was not the intention, but later added they did not know what would happen in the future.
Mrs Chicken was asked if nearby businesses had been consulted and she confirmed they had not been: "There is no need," she added.
People can comment on the size, scale, design and the car parking issues on the Babergh planning site or by emailing the case officer email@example.com or via the ward member firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting reference: DC/17/05073
Meanwhile, parish councillors also refused to support an application for discharge of conditions by developers of the HMS Ganges site.
They were particularly concerned by a request to allow building to commence with guaranteeing access to the Faith, Hope and Charity steps, which run down next to Shotley Lodge, and not provide acoustic fencing.
Cllr Wrinch said the applicants should stick to the agreement made when permission for 285 homes, a small hotel, a care home and retail units, was granted.
The councillors have agreed to back an application to form an equestrian field, with associated winter shelter at Frogs Alley, for three horses.
Couple Take To Funding Page To Pay For Wedding
Tuesday, April 17, 07.30
A former Shotley parish councillor and his fiancée are using a crowd funding site to raise money for their upcoming wedding.
Tony Ingram and Lucy McGough published their plea to raise £1,000 on a Go Fund Me page five weeks ago, and have raised more than £700 so far.
Mr Ingram, who used to live in Lower Harlings, and Miss McGough, who currently lives in Nantwich, Cheshire, are planning to wed in July, at Ipswich Registry Office, with a reception booked at the Shotley Rose.
The couple want the money to pay for a honeymoon holiday cottage, train tickets to Suffolk and the wedding fees.
They have asked for cash to be donated on the page, rather than people giving wedding presents.
“We're not having a big extravaganza. There will be no champagne or honeymoon in the Seychelles,” said Miss McGough, “We're only setting up a Go Fund Me in the first place because we're genuinely skint. Like, really skint.
“Anything you can give, even £1 (if that's all you can afford), will be received with overwhelming gratitude. After all, it'd be £1 we wouldn't otherwise have had.”
Pleading on crowd funding sites to pay for weddings is not new, however experts in the field argue it is wrong on so many levels.
Blogging wedding site The Knot, warns your event should rank with asking to fund a child with a life-threatening disease or a plea by a non-profit making organisation. They also warn many family and friends will be offended, especially as some of the donations go to the site’s costs.
Donate to Tony and Lucy’s wedding here…
Three Peninsula Athletes Win Commonwealth Games Medals
Sunday, April 15, 13.00
Three peninsula athletes have won medals in the Commonwealth Games, on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Hannah and harry Martin both won bronze in hockey yesterday, while Ethan Waddleton today scooped a bronze in the Rugby Sevens.
The trio were all brought up in Holbrook, and still have family living in the village.
21-year-old Waddleton, helped England beat South Africa 21-14 in the bronze medal match on the Gold Coast, after losing out to New Zealand in the semis..
Former St Joseph’s student Waddleton plays as a forward for the Red Roses. He is also a Suffolk cricketer, while his dad Ian played rugby for Ipswich, and his mum Karla is a national hockey player for Ipswich.
Midfielder Hannah Martin, made her England debut at the Games, coming off the bench against South Africa, scored in a 5-1 win over Wales and in the 3-1 victory against Malaysia to reach the semi-finals.
England beat India 6-0 to take the bronze, after losing their semi-final to New Zealand after a penalty shoot out..
The 23-year-old plays for Surbiton Hockey club, and to win bronze in her first multi-games competition was quite an achievement for Hannah, who said: “It’s absolutely fantastic here, the village is amazing and the volunteers and fans are all fantastic so it’s such a special event to be at.”
Hannah’s brother Harry is an established GB international who played in the London Olympics in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
Harry, who plays for Hampstead & Westminster, scored in the 7-0 opening game against Malaysia. The 26-year-old helped England secure bronze on the Gold Coast when they beat India in the bronze medal match after they went out of the semi-finals against host nation Australia.
This was Harry’s third Commonwealth Games after playing in Deli and Glasgow.
Merger Put On Pause
Friday, April 6, 07.00
Plans to merge Babergh and Mis Suffolk councils have been put on hold after a Unitary option was proposed.
Babergh, along with their Mid-Suffolk counterparts, have called a halt to pressing on with a merger after Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble ignored their plea to not go ahead with commissioning think tank to explore the benefits of forming a Unitary council, which would include all the district councils, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk CC.
The county council's determination to thoroughly explore the unitary option has left Babergh with no choice but to hold back publishing its business case or hold a referendum until after the unitary consultation has been completed.
A draft of the business case was due to be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny committee next Monday, which would have put Babergh on track to merge by May 2020.
Councillor John Ward, Leader of Babergh District Council said: "This (merging) is a big decision and not one that I was prepared to rush or take without first testing public opinion and then obtaining public support through a local poll.
"In all the circumstances, however, having just moved into our new single Headquarters, with an electoral boundary review already underway, with Suffolk County Council’s change of position and with our own elections just 12 months away, now is not the right time to be actively pursuing a merger with Mid Suffolk District Council.”
Alastair McCraw, (Ind) district councillor for Alton ward, (Brantham, Sutton and Tattingstone), was a key opposition member which secured a promise of a referendum for Babergh residents to have their say on the merger, which was being pushed through by the cabinet.
Cllr McCraw (pictured), who is also vice chair of the scrutiny committee, welcomed the decision not to press ahead with the merger and said: "This has to be seen as a massive U Turn, reversing the administrations plans over the last six months.
"Any decisions will still need a democratic and positive vote from the electorate though."
Derek Davis, (Ind) district councillor for Berners ward (Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston) added: "Unitary was not an option open to us when the administration voted to go for a merger with Mid-Suffolk, despite many other councillors from all parties wanting further discussion.
"It is good to see this is now on the table and as it will take time to go through this option thoroughly it makes sense to put the merger on hold, and if necessary scrap the move.
"It is just a shame so much time and energy has been wasted on trying to put a merger through, which to my mind has had a detrimental affect on services for Babergh residents."
Celebrate Easter with Ducks, Chocolate, Church, Museum, And Treasure Trails
Thursday, March 29, 10.00
Make the most of the intermittent sunny weather at the various outdoor events around the peninsula this Easter weekend, or enjoy being indoors with things aimed at all the family.
As well as the traditional church services, there is a myriad of fun for all the family events over the next four days.
From the HMS Ganges Museum opening on Good Friday from 11am, to a choice of Easter Egg hunts and treasure trails for children, and healthy walking, quizzes, hog roasts and music, with the annual Pin Mill Duck Race on Monday, there is something for all the family.
Alton Water Park is running an Easter egg trail from Good Friday through to Easter Monday.
Competitors can pick up a form from the newly-opened café and then set off around the park answering clues on your walk, with the whole thing taking about an hour. Take your completed sheet back to the café to collect your chocolate egg. See poster...
The Bristol Arms will be hosting a first birthday celebration marking the anniversary of Shotley becoming the first area in Suffolk to gain Walkers Are Welcome accreditation on Easter Monday.
A circular walk starts from the Shotley Gate pub at 2pm followed by a Treasure trail for children at 3.30pm, a family quiz at 4.30pm and a Hog Roast at 6pm.
All are welcome, including dogs with well-behaved owners. See poster...
In what has become one of the most popular Easter Egg hunt on the peninsula, 100 children will be running around the Shotley Rose field from 11am on Good Friday, with all the money raised going to a blood cancer charity and Tiffers, the Homeless Bus Project.
The Rose will also hold its fortnightly Over 60s dinner this Friday lunch from 12 noon to 1.30pm.
As it's good Friday Sarah and Jamie will be serving fresh cod, haddock skate and rock eel to eat in or take-away.
On Easter Sunday they will be serving a shoulder of pork with roast pots and veg plus hot cross bun bread and butter pudding for only £10.00 per person (pre booking advisable).
Blue Cross Suffolk is holding an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday April 1, with face painting for children, while there is also tea and cake for adults.
Dogs on a lead are welcome to the event, which starts at 11am on Sunday, April 1 at the rehoming centre, at the top of Bourne Hill, Wherstead. See poster…
The White Horse, Tattingstone, is hosting an Easter Bonnet competition on Easter Sunday starting at 3pm, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for the under 12s, with a BBQ in the evening. See poster…
Competitive spirit invariably comes to the fore, while everyone has a laugh, during the annual Pin Mill Duck Race, now in its 13th year.
Sign up for your ducks from 10.45am in The Pin Mill Studio. Grand Final expected about 12noon. There will be as many qualifying heats as possible until a series of quarter and semi finals brings us to the Grand Final.
This year organisers are raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, in memory of Brett Williams, co-founder of the Pin Mill Studio who died from a brain tumour 10 years ago, aged just 39, and for the village playgroup, Chelmondiston Playgroup who will be helping on the day.
Parking is very limited at Pin Mill and there will be lots of children running around, so visitors are asked to park at the village car park next to the Red Lion and walk down.
Ganges volunteers John Arbon and Phil Coe are doubling up this weekend and will be on duty for Friday’s season opener, and then again two days later on Easter Sunday.
Veteran Peter Talman and Barry Bonnamy will be on hand on Saturday, while Roger and Carole Cushing will be there on Easter Monday along with Dave and Anne Andrews.
To find out more click on HMS Ganges Museum website.
Council Criticised Over Lack Of Caravan Action
Babergh council has been criticised after forcing a community group to take down a welcome sign, while itself failing to remove an unsightly abandoned caravan.
Shotley Open Spaces have moved the Welcome To Shotley sign from the village entrance following an anonymous complaint.
The voluntary group complied after parish clerk Dina Bedwell wrote to the group reminding them the sign and to be removed. This was followed by a letter from Babergh's enforcement team giving SOS seven days to take it down.
The group have been given permission by the Village Hall Committee to site the welcome sign on their car park on a temporary basis and the banner was switched from the verge by the Corner garage, whose owners had no problem with it.
Meanwhile, plans are being made for a new, smaller, Walkers Are Welcome sign to be placed on the white picket fence at the village entrance. Shotley was the first place in Suffolk to gain the national Walkers Are Welcome accreditation.
SOS secretary Geraint Pugh said: "I hope the one person who made the complaint, anonymously, is happy now.
"The overwhelming number of people in the village are very appreciative of the work SOS does in clearing patch and cutting back brambles, and their support keeps us motivated."
While Babergh have cracked down on the community group, anger is growing over the time it is taking to remove the two caravans which are a blight on the gateway to the Shotley peninsula, which is being held up as a tourist attraction.
Mr Pugh added: "It does seem strange that Babergh have followed up this complaint yet do nothing about such a serious issue as the caravans at Freston."
Hundreds of comments and complaints have been registered on social media and to the district council.
Enforcement actions been carried out by Babergh but contractors have refused to take away the caravans due to environmental health reasons. One caravan is to be destroyed, but the other is legally owned by a person who is currently in prison. There are plans to stow that caravan once a suitable site is secured.
Call For Animal Lovers To Record The Mammals In Your Garden
Saturday, March 24, 09.00
Peninsula animal lovers are being asked to take part in a survey to see how wildlife in our area is changing.
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is calling for volunteers to participate in its annual national Living with Mammals survey.
The trust (PTES) would like people to survey a garden or local green space once a week in the coming months and record the wild animals they see.
PTES said. “This could be a rural or urban garden, an allotment, a park, or a green space near to work, as long as the site is within 200 metres of a building. Once a suitable space has been identified, PTES is asking volunteers to visit the site for a short time each week and record any sightings of mammals or the signs they leave behind, such as droppings or tracks."
PTES surveys officer David Wembridge added: “Understanding how wildlife in our towns and cities is changing is essential in supporting our wild neighbours such as foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs.
“We’ve always shared our green spaces with wildlife, so by counting the number of mammals each spring, we can tell where conservation efforts are needed most. By identifying population trends, finding pockets where certain species are thriving or under pressure, we can ultimately encourage biodiversity around us.”
Many of Britain’s mammals, including Muntjac like this one (pictured, in a Shotley garden) deer, hedgehogs, foxes, grey squirrels and bats, were typically found in household gardens, recreational areas, cemeteries and brownfield sites, PTES said. Other green spaces close to buildings may also provide them with a home.
However, there were some mammals that only lived in certain parts of the country - hazel dormice, for example, were rare but occasional visitors to gardens and were mostly found in southern counties of England and in Wales, although parts of north Essex and south Suffolk, including the Shotley peninsula, have populations of the species.
The survey starts on Monday and runs until June 24. To take part, volunteers can register online at www.ptes.org/lwm. The survey can also be completed via a printed pack via LwM@ptes.org
Peninsula News Backing Suffolk Day
As part of our positive approach to promoting this wonderful place we live, Shotley Peninsula News and Features will be supporting Suffolk day on Thursday, June 21.
If you, your community group, parish council or business are ding anything special on Suffolk Day then please let us know and we will help promote your event.
This is our opportunity to showcase this wonderful part of the county as Suffolk celebrates its stunning scenery, wonderful history, colourful culture, fabulous food, awesome attractions and most importantly brilliant people.
So send us your news or event to email@example.com
Babergh Playing Bin Collection Catch Up
Tuesday, March 6, 06.30
Extra bin crews have been deployed to catch up on refuse collection throughout the peninsula.
The snow and ice severely disrupted services from Tuesday last week, but all crews are out working normally this week, along with additional crews.
Babergh suspended Garden Waste collections for this week and diverted these teams to help the catch up – the district.council will offer free garden sacks for anyone that needs them and collections will start again as normal from next Monday.
The disruptions mean bin collections will probably not be on the normal day this week, so residents are advised to leave the bins out so they can be collected as soon as possible.
The tip at Chelmondiston will be open Wednesday morning and Saturday as usual
Bus Discount Card Set to Return after Passenger Anger
Monday, March5, 2.30pm
Ipswich Buses are set to bring back their 28-day passes after complaints by passengers using peninsula public transport.
Passengers expressed their anger at having to pay more than £90 a month to travel, compared to £65 previously after the 28-day passes were dropped.
Ipswich Buses are now looking at not only bringing back the money-saving pass, but also a six-monthly and annual pass, which can be used by rural users, county-wide.
An Ipswich Buses spokeswoman told SPNF: “We are currently reviewing and discussing how we can create a 28 day, six month and annual for the whole of the county services not just Shotley users. We hope that this will be brought out soon.
“In the mean-time we still offer the Ipswich to Shotley 10 journeys is still available from the driver, which is £22.00.”
Regular bus user Amy West, who was angry at the loss of the old pass, cautiously welcomed the new development.
“I would like to know why they removed the previous one without introducing a new one in the first place,” said Ms West. “I would like to know what the price of a new one will be, and if it will be valid for a full month and not just 28 days.
“Unfortunately, Ipswich Buses saying they are looking into this does not fill me with much confidence.”
Some of the morning bus services on and off the peninsula today were delayed after an accident on the Orwell Bridge created hold ups.
Delays As Tractor Breaks Down And Mist Shrouds Area
Monday, March 5, 09.30
Commuters were held up coming and going from the peninsula after a tractor and trailer broke down on the Orwell Bridge this morning.
There were long delays on the A14 and motorists trying to join at the Wherstead junction from the A137, and coming off at the B1456, Wherstead Road roundabout.
Further afield, the A120 at Wix was closed by police due to pot holes causing punctures, while an accident blocked the A12, close to the M25 in Essex, causing major delays.
Mist shrouded the peninsula as the weather warmed up. See an hour by hour weather report here...
Caution Urged As Thaw Begins
Sunday, March 4, 07.30
Motorists are being warned to take care as flooding is expected in parts of the peninsula as the big thaw begins.
Today's temperatures will hit 7c today with melting snow flowing onto roads and low-lying meadows.
The high tide will come in at 1.42pm, so extra care will be needed at the Strand.
All main routes are clear and the buses will run, while trains are still disrupted. Further afield, repair work is being carried out this weekon the A14, A12 and A120, so diversions will be in place at certain junctions, especially over night.
Train services running to and from Norwich may be cancelled or suspended, with disruption expected until the end of the day.
The Ipswich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Lowestoft and Norwich-Great Yarmouth lines remain closed, with no replacement bus services in place.
The operator has aimed to run a normal service on most routes today, subject to planned engineering works, with a full normal timetable due to resume from Monday.
Snow Angels Hailed
Saturday, March 3, 07.30
The hideous bad weather has brought the good out of so many people with a number of snow angels being praised for showing amazing community spirit.
A huge number of people and groups deserve bouquets for going above and beyond to keep things running.
Kevin Pitcher's vital intervention to help new-born Elsie Rae to get home safely when her parents Kirby Pridmore and Ollie Bertram was a highlight (see here) but there have ben many more unsung heroes.
Helen Hibberd wanted to praise the Pendles, who twice, came to her rescue, (read her story here) while Steko Nixon was hand to help out as snow drifts made the road by the old Shotley Boot extremely difficult.
Mark Ratcliffe has been out gritting as part of Suffolk Highways road crew for more hours than can be counted,a she has kept the B1456, among many other, well gritted.
Virtually all the farmers on the peninsula were out in their tractors helped to clear roads as well as caring for their livestock, and it is lambing season.
Persistent posties all across the peninsula have got somehow got through, better late than never, along with the milkmen, all getting to difficult locations too.
Shop owners Manish Patel at Shotley Stores, and James and Carly Welham of Hollinsgworth's at Chelmondiston, not only stayed open but also made free deliveries to the more elderly and vulnerable customers to save them venturing out on icy paths, while Stutton Community Shop also provided fresh victuals.
Surgery staff at Holbrook and Shotley surgeries got to work to provide cover whenever possible, even when their website warned they would be closed. Holbrook surgery is open this morning as usual.
If you would you like to nominate a snow angel contact us here at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy The Snow But Stay Out of Fields
Saturday, March 3, 07.00
Sheep farmers have pleaded with people to to sledge in their fields.
Young and old will be out enjoying the heavy snowfall with parents taking their children out sledging, many for the first time.
But thrill-seekers are asked not to enter fields, especially where sheep are grazing as it is lambing season and sledgers can stress the animals and cause fatalities among lambs.
An emergency hotline has been set up by EDF as the possibility of power its follow in the wake of the severe weather.
An EDF spokesman said: "Your electricity network distributor looks after your electricity supply. If there’s an electrical emergency or power outage at your home, you’ll need to ring your operator.
"Simply call 105 from your mobile or landline and the telephone service will automatically direct you to the network distributor's emergency number for your area. Calls to this service are free of charge. More from EDF."
Although, temperatures have risen above freezing, and are forecast to rise to 7c over the weekend, with rain rather than snow, see weather hour by hour here, there have been power outages on the peninsula, while broadband has dropped off intermittently.
A fire overnight at Foxash closed the A137 for a while, it has re-opned but there may be delays. The majority of roads are passable, a few side roads may still have issues but all main routes are clear.
Many litter picks planned for today have been cancelled. Check before you leave.
Ipswich Town's home game with Hull city has been called off and there are no non-league games being played this weekend.
Buses are running as normal, trains are on the weekend schedule.
Severe Weather Continues To Cause Disruption
Friday, March 2, 06.30
Roads are much better on the Shotley peninsula this morning, although caution is urged. Meanwhile,many schools and business are staying shut.
There is still significant wind blowing through, which is causing drifts in parts so caution is urged, while ice is an issue.
Gritters have been out again, and farmers helped to clear drifts and free trapped motorists.
The 97 and 92 buses will run, but delays are expected, the 98 bus will not run.
The A12 and A14 are running fairly well, there are problems further afield with the A140 impassable in places.
More than 700 trains have been cancelled with a disrupted service on the main line between London and Norwich. Branch lines remain closed.
Shotley surgery is open until 12.30pm, while Holbrook surgery will be open for emergency appointments and will be run by a skeleton staff.
The Corner Garage, Shotley is closed for safety reasons.
Gavin the milkman, the Royal Mail postmen, and a raft of other delivery drivers
The Big Auction at Shotley Village Hall has been cancelled, and provisionally rearranged for March 17.
Ipswich Town's game against Hull City at Portman Road tomorrow is in doubt. A safety inspection all be held later today.
Let us know if you are open, or closed. editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures
East Bergholt High
Tattingstone primary (opens at 10am)
Defiant Businesses Stay Open
A number of places on the peninsula are staying open in defiance of the Beast From The East and in line of promoting the positive whenever possible we are going to highlight them.
The lads from the Lasan are open from 7pm, for top fish and chips and also quality Indian food, but will close bit earlier to escape the heavy flurries.
Laws Cottage is open from 5pm selling, probably the best Chinese food around.
Most of the pubs will defy the weather and be open, certainly the Shotley Rose, Shipwreck and Bristol Arms are open this evening.
Hollingsworth in Chelmondiston and Shotley Premier Stores are open.
Let us know if you are open. editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsandfeatures
Buses suspended, schools shut, shop open and delivering
There will be no Ipswich Buses running on the Shotley peninsula today as the 98 and 97 services were suspended due to cold weather.
A number of schools and playgroups were forced to stay closed including, Holbrook Academy, Ipswich Academy, East Bergholt High School.
Holbrook, Shotley, Chelmondiston, Brooklands (Brantham) and Tattingstone primary school, closed for the day, while Shotley Kidzone and Holbrook playgroup did not open.
Stutton primary school did open.
Some Greater Anglia trains ran from Manningtree and Ipswich, but on a limited timetable on the mainline between London and Norwich, while branch lines are completely closed.
Temperatures plummeted to minus six degrees Celsius, and while travel by road was slow, the roads were well gritted and the B1456, A137 and B1080, were passable with care. The A12 and A14 were also affected but progress could be made in both directions, despite some minor accidents.
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