Shotley Archive 2018

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Panto's Path Paved With Fun

Dick Whittington, presented by Shotley Drama Group

Shotley Village Hall

No matter how bad your day, week or month has been, the Shotley Drama Group’s version of Dick Whittington will put sunshine in your heart and a spring in the step.

It doesn’t start that way, after all we have all had it. That moment when we realise, despite your best intentions and good-heart, others around you do not share your values and virtues.

 Indeed, this panto begins with Dick (played very well by seasoned drama group star Diane Weeding, pictured left} realising the street of London are not paved with gold, but cobbles, like everywhere else.

Then follows a classic tale of treachery, a smear campaign and all round dastardly deeds by King Rat, played by the suitably maleficent Guy Johnson, and his scratchy pals, all very good at being Bad.

But perseverance, love, decency and truth, with no little humour and good songs, win out.

As always, the children capture the attention with well-choreographed dances skillfully and energetically performed.

On stage efforts, managed by Len Tarling, are matched only by the behind the scenes work, the colourful sets, are amazing, look out for the subtle references, coupled with the live groan-worthy gags. 

Angela Arnold hammed it up to the right degree as Idle Jack along with Lazy Daisy (veteran panto performer) Barbara Moss-Taylor,  
these two are the new female version of Morecambe and Wise (kids, ask your parents) I guarantee you will not stop chuckling at this pair, in a good way.

Brian Harvey will never win The Voice but that doesn’t stop him being superb at everything else, playing the Dame, directing, with no little help from Margaret Skinner, supporting the cast and generally leading from the front putting in no hold barred display.

Matriarch Mandy Peters’ convincing Scottish accent in the first half, and then Irish in the second kept everyone on their toes as shop owner Mrs Fitzwarren. 

Alice Fitzwarren (Jennie Hammond) wards off the attention of scurrilous Captain  Skull (Brian Spalding) to stay true to her man Dick.

 Skull’s inept partner in crime is the evergreen Bob Oliver, who totally belies his 85 years, with his best Corporal Jones impersonation as Bosun Crossbones.

Narrated by every young girl's image of a princess Fairy Bow Bells (Bethany Spalding) the fairy tale moves from London docks to Eygpt where the Pharoah (Robbie Green) is a dodgy Elvis impersonator, where everyone walks like an Eyptian. adding a touch more silliness to proceedings

Dinah, Dick’s cat played by Honor Hammond showed she could also dance a bit as the cast cuts loose with Footloose in the finale ensuring everyone goes home Walking On Sunshine.

Shotley Drama Group’s Dick Whittington is everything a panto should be, and a bit more, for all generations. Don’t miss this.

Sarah at the Shotley Rose has tickets, the box office at the pub is open from 12noon to 2pm and then 5pm until close. 787237

Saturday’s matinee is sold out, although tickets are still available for Wednesday and Friday, and limited numbers for Thursday and Saturday evening, all starting 7.30pm.

Pop Group's Pier Petition Passes 250 Mark

Monday, October 29, 07.00

A pop group's petition calling on directors of a Benefit Society to drop their appeal to build a commercial development straddling Bristol pier in Shotley has attracted more than 250 signatories. 

Created by Protect Our Pier (POP) group the petition on Changes.Org has called on the directors of Shotley Community Heritage Benefit Society Ltd to drop their appeal against Babergh District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a large-scale commercial development to build café, seating for 84 people, a workshop, offices and a visitor centre, on Shotley’s Victorian pier, and instead put in a new, smaller planning application designed to protect the future of our pier and focus on just restoring the pier, with small kiosks on the end to generate funds for the renovated pier’s maintenance and secure future.

Babergh district councillor Derek Davis is backing the petition and supported an offer by objectors to meet with the directors and find a compromise. It is understood an alternative proposal has been put to the Benefit Society but they are still pressing ahead with the appeal.

"It was hoped the directors would listen and understand the resistance to their scheme, which many people clearly regard as being far too large and out of keeping with our Victorian pier," said Cllr Davis. "Even if the Benefit Society wins its appeal, it will not change the fact that so many people, including shareholders reman against the commercial over-development.

"It will be a community project without the support of  large section of the community.

"Many people want to see the pier restored, but not in the way these directors are trying to force through."

The group of objectors, which includes many shareholders, claim the original intention of restoring the pier was so that generations to come could gently stroll down the pier enjoy the unspoilt view down the river Stour, with benches and Victorian style lighting, with angling off the far end.

Restoring the pier with a couple of kiosks, would require far less funding than the £3million estimated for the large scale commercial development, which would obliterate a treasured view inside therecenly proposed AONB extension. The cafe etc would be in direct competition to local businesses, and also create car parking issues, and the harm would substantially outweigh whatever benefit claimed. 

Click here for more information and to sign the petition.

Peninsula Remembers 100 Years On

Every Remembrance Day is poignant but this year the Royal British Legion will commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One with a series of special events. 

Many parishes on the peninsula will mark the 1918 Armistice on both the 11th hour of the 11th day in November, and also at cemeteries across the county on November 8 with a unique commemoration organised by Suffolk Remembers 100.

Every one of the churchyards, including the Commonwealth War Graves at Shotley, with a grave from someone from the 1914-1918 Great War will be visited and marked at 11am on Thurday, November 8.

Children from schools at Woolverstone, Holbrook, Stutton, Shotley and Chelmondiston will show respect as commemoration markers are placed on the graves, which are part of 1,332 graves in 248 Suffolk cemeteries.

There will be a special service at Holbrook on Friday, November 9 at All Saints' church when the Holbrook Society will be holding an evening of Remembrance from 7pm. 

Vivo choir and pupils from Holbrook Academy will be there as the society looks at what the war meant for Holbrook using records researched by the society, including Samantha Lanier, (pictured right) while refreshments with a WW1 theme, will be available.

Then on Sunday, November 11, a special concert will be held at Shotley Village Hall in the afternoon, organised by Shotley and Chelmondiston British Legion chairman Brian Ives along with the two parish councils.

Featuring the Suffolk Concert Band and the Brigade's Drums and Bugles starting at 2pm. This will be followed by a Sunset Ceremony.

Poppies created by volunteers will also be displayed from November 5 for at least two weeks within Quay Place. The display will form the back drop of a variety of events.  A display of information unearthed on the stories of the 22 men and a service of dedication from the Bishop in the evening. Thursday, November 8 there is a music and poetry evening featuring Royal Hospital School.

* Send us your event or Remembrance Service details:

Kidzone Shelter Built After SOS Call

Saturday, October 27, 13.00

Youngsters at Shotley Kidzone have a new sheltered area to escape wet weather after members of Shotley Open Spaces (SOS) built a Pagoda-type hut. 

SOS answered a call for help after the materials were sourced by Kidzone supporter Peter Sago but his work commitments as a paramedic meant a work force was needed to complete the project.

Gary Richens, Geraint Pugh and Casper De Boer, hammered out a good result, without doing too much damage to themselves or the Pagoda.

 Mr Pugh, SOS' honourable secretary, said: "Kidzone really needed this doing and we heard they needed some help and we were happy to oblige.

"It will give somewhere for the children to go when it's wet and it could also be useful for fundraising parties or staff BBQs.

"Many thanks to Pete Sago for doing the ground work and sourcing the raw materials." 

Shotley Kidzone looks too provide stimulating play experience for pre-school youngsters by getting them to explore , investigate and learn by a range of indoor and outdoor activities..

*Shotley Open Spaces are among a number of peninsula community volunteers that have been shortlisted for the Stars of Suffolk awards ceremony. More details to follow.

*Check out our online Christmas Market...

Post Office Hit By Burglars

Thursday, October 25, 08.00

Shotley Post Office was among four stores raided by burglars last night. 

Cigarettes were among items stolen from the shop at Kingsland owned by Manish Patel.

Police were also called to shops in Reydon, Great Blakenham and Grundisburgh – all of which are believed to be linked – between midnight and 4.30am on Thursday morning.

Neighbours of the shop in Shotley raised the alarm after hearing banging just after 01.30 and frightened away the raiders. Nobody was injured in any of the raids and no arrests have yet been made.

Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to anyone who may have information to assist the investigation to contact them 101, quoting crime reference number 37/61630/18.

The raids come as the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) urged the Government to take action in the wake of a new report from the Home Affairs Committee, which showed crimes including robbery and theft have been increasing sharply.

The report, entitled ‘Policing for the Future’ reveals that recorded crimes have risen by 32% in the last three years, while the number of charges/summons has decreased by 26%.

Meanwhile, neighbourhood policing has been cut by over 20% since 2010.

 Research conducted by ACS earlier this year shows that 82% of retailers are concerned about the consistency of the response from police, with 73% dissatisfied with the time taken for the police to respond to incidents.

Mr Patel was a winner in the Business in the Community category at the Stars of Babergh awards last week, after being nominated for the charitable work he and his staff are involved with.

The Patels organised an Indian meal night to raise funds towards the village hall car park, supply selection boxes for pupils at Shotley primary school, and organised home deliveries during the Beast from the East earlier this year.

Shotley Stars Scoop Community Awards

Friday, October 19, 07.00

Volunteers and community minded business people from the Shotley peninsula enjoyed success at the Stars of Babergh awards
 night at St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh.

Manish Patel won the Business in the Community award for his family store’s involvement in so many local events.

Mr and Mrs Patel hosted an Indian themed evening with great food with all the money raised going towards the refurbishment of the car park

Every year they donate selection boxes to the pupils at Shotley school and are constant givers of raffle prizes.

Norman Bugg was named the district's Community Champion, after the work he does with a wide range of groups, including the Over-60s club, St  Mary’s Church, the Village Hall Committee, a long term stalwart of Shotley who is known and admired by many.

Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbours' Scheme , that has been even more important to isolated people since the 98 bus service was drastically cut. They look after people and ensure they get to appointments at either surgery, and Ipswich hospital and were runners up after being shortlisted in the Community Spirit category,

(All the Shotley finalists are pictured above: From left to right - Back row - Steve Molyneux, Allana Baxter, Derek Davis, Norman Bugg, Manish Pate. Front row: Rosa McCulloch, Eileen Bugg. Picture by Lucy Taylor Photography)

Stutton Community Shop, nominated by Alastair McCraw were honoured with the Community Group of the Year award.

Carly and James Welham  of Hollingsworth’s Store & Butchers in Chelmondiston were shortlisted finalist in the Business Growth section, after successfully re-oping the shop.

Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor, who nominations included all three Shotley finalists was delighted at the success of all the peninsula groups and individuals.

 Cllr Davis said: “It is a great night for the Shotley Peninsula at the Stars of Babergh District Council awards night at the beautiful Hadleigh church.

“It was humbling to hear the stories of so many wonderful people doing fabulous things for their community.

“Norman, Manish and the Good Neighbours epitomise everything that is good about living in this fantastic village.”

BBC Radio Suffolk’s Stephen Foster compered the evening, which flowed very smoothly.

Picture Special...

List of Babergh winners and finalists:

Community Champion of the Year Award – Babergh

Winner: Norman Bugg, community volunteer

Finalist: Janet Dicks, Hollywood, Ansell Centre Hadleigh

Business in the Community Award - Babergh

Winner: Manish Patel, Shotley Stores

Winner: Mukunthan Thurairajah (Muku)

Community Spirit of the Year Award - Babergh

Winner: Joes Golf & Activity Park

Finalist: Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbour Scheme

Business Growth Award - Babergh

Winner: Suffolk Market Events

Finalist: Hollingsworths Store & Butchers, Chelmondiston

Finalist: Stour Sort & Sparkle

Community Group of the Year Award - Babergh

Winner: Stutton Community Shop CIC

Finalist: Ansell Memories Café

Best Community Achievement Award - Babergh

Winner: Team Together Tuesday

Finalist: Kernos Centre (KERNOS)

Community Project of the Year Award - Babergh

Winner: Lavenham Community Land Trust

Finalist: Diane Chase & Audrey Lorford, producers of ‘Hintlesham & Chattisham, the story of two Suffolk villages’

Sporting Achievement of the Year Award - Babergh

Winner: Sudbury Cricket Club

Finalist: Kelly Mires, Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics

Volunteer of the Year - Babergh

Winner: Will Hunt, Cornard Dynamos

Finalist: Jane Snowdon, community volunteer

Special Recognition - Babergh

Winner: Caroll Reeve, Lavenham community volunteer

*Read the latest news around the peninsula.

Frogs Alley Glamping, Building and Events Venue Gets Go Ahead

Wednesday, October 17, 23.00

A glamping site and large building hosting wine–tasting events is to be built at Frogs Alley. 

The five-metre high (approx.15ft), 20m long and 8m deep building will sit in a field within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty after Babergh planning committee members voted 10-3 in favour of approving the application, with 19 conditions attached.

Permission was also granted for the owners to hold six wedding reception parties a year in a marquee next to the Commonwealth War Graves near to St Mary’s Church, Shotley. (pictured right)

Despite 37 letters of from residents speaking against the plans and objections from Shotley Church’s Parochial Council, the parish council, and the Stour and Orwell Society, planners decided the benefits of economic growth outweighed the adverse harm to neighbours, the AONB and impact on the church and war graves, in a sensitive area.

Frogs Alley resident James Pratt, Barrie Powell (on behalf of the parish council) and ward member Derek Davis outlined the objections and concerns, while another neighbour, Geoff Powell, the applicant Craig Mills, and ward member Peter Patrick, spoke in favour of the application at the planning committee meeting.

Concerns over the suitability of the track down to the entrance to the vineyard at Frogs Alley, parking issues and the noise nuisance were among the issues debated.

Applicant Mr Mills and his wife Charlotte plan to provide toilets, shower and agricultural storage in the building with four glamping pods and parking for 10 vehicles at the vineyard. They intend to hold two wine tasting tours a day during spring/summer and one a day in the winter/autumn, as well as outdoor wedding events.

Conditions imposed on the site include:

  • Limit music at wedding and outdoor events to acoustic music only.
  • Restricted to six weddings per year
  • Maximum of four glamping pods, and only during April to October inclusive.
  • No events to take place during Church or War Graves services
  • Details of external lighting

More details can be found on the Babergh planning search website REF: DC/18/00873

Don't Be Alarmed - It Is Just An Exercise

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 07.00

Thursday, October 11, 11.00

Villagers are being warned not to be alarmed today (Tuesday) if they see dozens of Environmental Agency and Babergh officers on the Shotley foreshore, appearing to clean up a pollution emergency. 

Codenamed Exercise Coinquinatio, Babergh' public realm and environmental teams will be among officers present on Shotley Beach anytime between 10am - 3pm on October 16.

Residents are advised there will be no danger and it is all activity is part of the exercise. Anyone spotting a response team on the scene on Tuesday will not need to report the issue to the emergency services, who are aware of the planned exercise.

The exercise aims to ensure that key council services are familiar with Babergh’s response plan if pollution, debris or marine debris happened to come ashore on the Shotley Peninsula, the sole coastline in Babergh. Emergency Planning Exercises are regularly carried out by public services to ensure all those involved are familiar with the planned response to potential emergencies, from flooding to pollution.

All footpaths and normal access points to the beach will remain open during the exercise.

The 30-strong group will use the Bristol Arms as their headquarters during the exercise, with hot drinks, refreshments and a light much provided by landlord and Coastguard volunteer Shane Rolin.

'Coinquinatio' is the Latin term for pollution or polluting and was considered appropriate for an exercise testing marine pollution contingencies.

*See what else is going on around the Shotley peninsula...

Fire At Electrical Sub-Station Causes Power Cut

Sunday, October 14, 08.00

Two fire crews spent three hours dealing with a fire at an electrical sub-station over-night. 

The B1456 between Shotley and Shotley Gate was closed for a short time, while power cuts affected around 300 homes. Although engineers were on the scene so quickly, many people were not disrupted.

Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel, pumping out 40 litres of foam to put out the fire, which started at around 00.40.

 There were no injuries and Suffolk Fire Service confirmed no foam had entered the drainage system.

Retained firefighters from Holbrook and full time crew from Ipswich attended the incident.

Engineers from UK Power Network installed an emergency generator in order to restore power, with services resuming at around 03.30.

*Suffolk fire chief interview

Town Shirts Up For Auction

Thursday, October 4, 07.00

 Signed kit belonging to former Ipswich players are among a raft of must haves up for grabs at the Shotley Rose on Saturday.

The shorts, donated by Jamie Barwich and FIS Windows, will be auctioned off on the night, although sealed bids for a silent auction will be accepted before the event.

An amazing array of raffle prizes, including a chimney sweep, an Alton Water cycle hire voucher, Jimmy's Farm day pass, Hers and Sirs' wet cut, chocolates, booze, Pink Shed massage, and a ferry ticket, will be among the items sold as part of a hair shave in aid of the cancer unit at Ipswich Hospital's Somersham ward. 

One brave regular of the Rose, with a penchant for Prosecco and privacy, is following in the footsteps of other brave ladies of late in losing their locks for charity.

The shave will be expertly done by Liza Baldry from Hers and Sirs, just days after her salon colleague Lorraine Page , did the business on Shazz Kennedy (see story below).

 The shave at the Rose is the latest in a long line of events to raise money for good causes landlady  Sarah Pallant has hosted and in the last year alone has raised thousands of pounds for charity and the community.

Kidzone recently benefitted by £175 and Shotley's First Responders £100 when the Rose auctioned off Carlsberg beer towers, which had proved popular during England's successful Word Cup campaign in Russia.

The East Coast Retro's car rally in the field behind the pub raised cash for MacmIllan chairs and the scouts, football and bowls clubs re among those organisations that have been recipients of fund raising.

It is no surprise that The Rose has been nominated for the Stars of Babergh awards due to its on going commitment to the people of Shotley.

*See more community events on our posters page here...

Braving the Shave


Shazz Kennedy's head shave raised nearly £500 at the Macmillan Coffee Morning. 

Shazz's total went towards an astounding £970 total raised by the Shotley and Erwarton WI's well-attended event at the village.

Hers and Sirs owner Lorraine Page expertly cut Shazz's hair after first putting it into bunches. which can be used by patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

She then carefully shaved the fund-raiser's head infant of an appreciative crowd, enjoying coffee, tea and a wonderful assortment of cakes.

Friday, September 29, 07.00

Two fundraisers are to have their heads shaved for charity. 

Shazz Kennedy will feel the buzz of a razor first when Hers and Sirs stylist Georgina Chelsea-Page removes the locks as part of a MacMillan Coffee Morning event this morning.

The fundraiser at Shotley Village Hall starting at 10am is part of a national campaign, when organisers look to put on the world's largest coffee morning.

Shazz's assistance dog Callie will be spared as her courageous owner has her hair removed for charity and every is welcome to come along and show support or sponsor her.

Admission is £3 but tea, coffee cake and biscuits are included. 

Chelmondiston hair stylists Hers and Sirs will also be snipping away for a charity head shave next week, when Lisa Baldry goes to work on a Shotley Rose regular as she raises money for Somersham Ward, at Ipswich hospital.

Sponsorship forms are at the pub, and there is also an opportunity to win a raft of raffle prizes.

*Send us detail of your charity event, or send us your community poster here...

Mystery of Blue Poo Marker

Wednesday, September 26, 07.00

Mystery surround the identity of a person marking dog poo which has not been picked up in Shotley Gate. 

Poo left on paths around Stourside, Lower Harlings and in the cut through to Estuary Road, has been sprayed blue to highlight its presence.

Some of the dog poo has subsequently been picked up and disposed off properly, although the blue circles are still obvious.

Geraint Pugh, secretary of volunteer group Shotley Open Spaces, understands the mystery sprayer's frustration.

 "Obviously someone is feeling very blue about dog poo," said Mr Pugh. "While the vast majority of dog owners do bag and bin their pets' poo, one or two are not so responsible. I suppose this blue markings will warn other people the poo is there and stop them walking into it and spreading it everywhere."

The parish council provides dog poo bins for owners to deposit the mess and it is clear the vast amount of dog owners abide by the rules and use them.

*Are you the mystery blue dog poo marker? Get in touch...

*If you have an article, news story or feature please contact us here... 

Holidaying Couple Come Home To Burnt Out House

Wednesday, September 19, 09.00

A Shotley couple have returned home from holiday to discover the extent of a fire which destroyed the roof of their home over the weekend. 

Gloria and Malcolm Bellhad been holidaying abroad when fire ripped through two semi-detached houses at Lower Harlings at just after 1.00am on Sunday morning.

Home owner Keith Taylor was woken by neighbours as the blaze took hold, and had to be held back from trying to fight the fire.

 A family of four on the other side had to be evacuated with two young children taken in by friends, while the father moved cars away from the danger zone.

Decking in the back gardens also caught alight and three properties suffered damage in the devastating inferno.

One witness described how: "It was raining fire onto the houses next door. It was very frightening. There was little we could do and it seemed an age before the fire crews arrived.

“Everyone has been fantastic though, helping out in every way they could.”

Fire crews from Ipswich and Holbrook raced to the scene and quickly brought the blaze under control. It is understood the fire may have emanated from an oil tank. 

Mr and Mrs Bell were contacted via their daughter Amy who was also away at the time and came back on Tuesday.

Mr Taylor is staying with family and has posted via social media, saying he is fine, has everything he needs and thanks all well-wishers for their concern.

*Peninsula News held off reporting details of the fire until now at the request of neighbours who did not want Mr and Mrs Bell to see the extent of the damage to their home on the internet and we respected those wishes. Contact us here...

Lots Of Money Raised At Auction

Monday, September 17, 10.30

Nearly 200 items were sold by auction as Andrew Coulson brought has gavel down on bargains galore. 

A fridge freezer went for £2 and dozens of other items were bought for crazy prices.

Shotley Village Hall Committee raised £515 for vital maintenance work at the community hub used by hundreds of villagers. 

As always, a great deal of hard work was done by a number of volunteers to make this happen.

It is anticipated the next auction will be held next February or March.

If you have a news article or feature you would like us to cover please click to contact us here... 

Beach Clean Volunteers Tyred Out

Monday, September 17, 10.00

A set of four large tyres was among rubbish collected by small group of volunteers at Shotley over the weekend.

Young and old got stuck into clearing up along from dinghy park next to Admiralty pier and past the picnic area as part of the Great British Beach Clean Up.

Thousands of people have joined in the huge clear up, with plastic waste a huge problem to the oils; rivers, seas and oceans.

Other villages throughout the peninsula have held litter picks through the year collecting tons of rubbish.

All these efforts are supported by Babergh District Council, who made sure the rubbish would be collected and disposed of.

Ganges Plans Going Ahead - Despite Rumours

Monday, August 10, 18.30

Concerns the building of 285 homes, a care home and other properties, on the former HMS Ganges site is not happening have proved to be unfounded. 

District councilor Derek Davis confirmed the development is going ahead as planned, despite rumours to the contrary.

A letter sent out by Babergh notifying people an application made by the developers was invalid, and had never been valid, inevitably sparked the belief the plans had been scrapped.

However, the letter was part of a technical process and refers to other applications made by the site owners Haylink, and not the one which received permission in 2015, which was upheld by the High Court. 

Cllr Davis, Babergh ward councillor for Shotley Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, and a cabinet member, explained: “Notification was sent out saying the application to build 285 homes, retail units, community buildings, a care home and a small hostel, was invalid and that, understandably, sent the hares running.

“The truth is the application referred to was an erroneous piece of paperwork that was superseded but never properly dealt with.

“While looking at a recent application by Haylink to discharge certain conditions, an efficient planning officer spotted the discrepancy, among other things, and carried out a thorough housekeeping exercise on the whole application.

“I have been assured everything is fully in order and the applicant is looking to start actually building houses as soon as possible.

“There are a couple more things to be overcome, which is normal on a development of this scale, but the first phase, which includes adding a spine road, will soon be started.”

 The developers have completed much of the heritage work required and will soon be advertising for labourers to help complete the site clearance.

Permission has been given for Haylink to remove the mast so it can restored fully to its 143ft high glory, complete with rigging, while other ceremonial and important heritage aspects are being protected.

Almost £6million of staged payments will be made as part of an S106 agreement, which will be paid over nine phases until completion.

Some buildings will be handed over for community use, and public open spaces are part of the plans.

If you have a news or sports story Contact us here: 

Bowls Club Miss Out In Two Finals

Monday, September 10, 10.00

Shotley Rose Bowls Club missed out in two finals of the Samford Competitions, run by the Ipswich & District Federation Bowls League on Sunday. 

Shotley lost out to Felixstowe & Walton in the Millennium Cup final, by just four shots on aggregate.

Paul Catchpool, Simon Whitney and Scott Moir won their block, but Wednesday's team captain Len Haines, along with Andrew Coulson and Ian Lord were squeezed out in their game.

Lord was also narrowly beaten 21-19 by Waldringfield's C Coleman in the men's four wood final.

All the players celebrated/commiserated with a sausage supper at the Rose pub afterwards.

Norman Bugg, Rose Bowls Club stalwart, praised the players' efforts and the various team's efforts.

"This will be the court season in row we have won silverware, albeit as runners up this year," said Mr Bugg. "Someone commented to me that are the bridesmaids rather than the bride this year, although as I pointed out, 'That may well be, but there are many who didn't even get to the church."

The club fields two teams, on a Monday and a Wednesday and play on the green behind the Rose pub. Anyone interested in playing, or helping to maintain the green, should contact Norman on 787358, or Andrew 787304. 

*See more pictures here...

*If you have an news or sport article you would like to share please get in touch. Contact us...

New Era Starts For Shotley School

Wednesday, September 5, 00.01

A new era, starting with a new head teacher, begins for Shotley Community School, this week. 

Pupils return on Friday, as staff spend today and tomorrow acclimatising to working under a new authority with A Suffolk Schools Education Trust (ASSET) officially taking over. 

The school has undergone big changes behind the scenes, with Richard Dedicoat taking over as head teacher, with Lynette Allison as assistant head.

 Mr Dedicoat (pictured left) joins Shotley from the Willows School in Ipswich, which was part of the Orwell Multi Academy Trust, and previously worked at Whitton Primary school, a founding member of ASSET Education.

Mrs Allison has been involved with ASSET since its formation and is recognized for her leadership skills and experience in head teacher roles. 

The duo plan to hit the new term running although there have been staff changes, with some popular teachers leaving Shotley school.

Long-serving teacher Julie Packard has taken early retirement, while Sharon Taylor has also left to take up a specialised role elsewhere, along with Justine Hughes who is starting a full-time post at St Pancras Catholic Primary School.

Clare Flintoff, (pictured right) executive principal at ASSET Education, is confident the work done by interim head Alun Davies last term, and the new academy system will restore Shotley schools reputation and has already been delighted with the response from parents and children.

Mrs Flintoff believes the support the academy trust can offer Shotley in terms of back office oversight, training, resources and leadership will help progress at pace, and turn around after a negative OFSTED report.

“We note the OFSTED report but also recognise there are many positive aspects about Shotley school.” said Mrs Flintoff. “We have already met with the parents of the school and there was huge support within the community for the school.

“We recognise the desire for the school at Shotley to grow and we would like to thank the parents, the community and the staff at the school that have done an excellent job and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

 Derek Davis, Babergh district councillor for Berners ward, which includes the school’s main catchment area of Shotley, Shotley Gate and Erwarton, has a son who is a former pupil at Shotley and believes close co-operation between parents, the school staff and the Trust, will be key.

“I know from personal experience what a wonderful school Shotley is,” said Cllr Davis (pictured left at Shotley school with a prize-winning pupil and her parents). “Everyone, including the dinner ladies, support staff, teachers and administrative team, genuinely want what’s best for the children and that goes a long way.

“It is no coincidence that so many wonderful young people move up from this school and do well elsewhere.

“There has been a bit of a wobble at the school, but even then there remained many positive aspects.

“ASSET has a lot of experience in dealing with all types of primary schools and I’m sure they will enjoy making Shotley school an even bigger success.”

ASSET Education now has 10 schools within its Trust after adding Church of England schools 

The academy trust was formed in 2015 with three Ipswich schools, St Helen’s, the Oaks and Whitton joining forces and working directly with the Department of Education.

With a mission statement aimed at creating a group of schools in Suffolk which would be among the best in the country ASSET has been joined by Halesworth’s Edgar Sewter, and primary schools in Bungay, Holton, Wenhaston and Ilketshall, all in the north east of the county.

Funding is provided through Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and by pooling their buying power, ASSET can achieve economies of scale and negotiate keener contracts, with better monitoring.

Asset Education was awarded £176,000 earlier this year to bring the Power of Reading scheme to its 10 schools, which will provide training and resources for a programme of reading, from a DofE Strategic Schools Improvement Fund.

Fortieth Flower, Fruit & Veg Show Flourishes

Saturday, September 1

With a 98lb pumpkin, sensational sunflowers, outstanding onions, and rakish runner beans, Shotley and Erwarton's 40th flower, fruit and vegetable show was a blooming success. 

Gardeners overcame wild weather, including late snow storms, deluges of rain and then the hottest summer since 1976 to grow, nurture and harvest an amazing array of nature's finest produce.

Ian Palmer won first prize for his selection of vegetables, including excellent quality onions, marrows, carrots, potatoes and sweetcorn. (Pictured)

Fresh baked produce, including many cakes, was also on display, and art and craft lovers also exhibited their pictures or figures.

Norman Bugg , one of the show organisers, said: "It is a wonderful display and we are so lucky to have so many people taking part and producing all this wonderful fruit, flowers and vegetables.

"Given the atrocious weather we have had, and then the blistering heat, they have all done very well in growing what they have. There has been a lot of time and love gone in to all of this."

A full list of winners and runners-up at the Shotley & Erwarton Jubilee Community Council Flower and Vegetable Show will be published as soon as it is compiled completely.

If you entered your garden produce, or know someone who dis, click here for full picture gallery... 

Pier Development Objectors Offer Olive Branch

Tuesday, August 28, 11.00

Supporters of the original plan to restore Shotley pier but object to plans to build a café with seating for up to 84 people, workshops, offices and a visitor centre , have written an open letter to the project group inviting them to a meeting to find a compromise.

Babergh planning committee refused the application by a vote of 7-6 last Wednesday on its size, scale and design, after hearing the proposed 15ft a high building would cause a loss of views down the river Stour, create parking problems and have a detrimental economic effect on the area.

Three objectors spoke against this particular scheme, although all said they wanted the pier renovation to go ahead but only as originally suggested as a restoration of a 123-year-old pier for people to stroll down, perhaps enjoy fishing off one end, with kiosks on the land side to raise money for ongoing maintenance costs.

The letter reads:

"An Open Letter to the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society Limited and Shotley Parish Council

On behalf of Shotley Marina, The Bristol Arms, Shotley Sailing Club and many members of the local community, I would like to offer to host a meeting to discuss how we can all work together to put in a revised application to Babergh District Council for the refurbishment of the Pier.

We all want the pier to be refurbished but believe the last application was flawed. We think that a structure that is 92 feet long and 15ft high, sitting on a 139 foot long platform and costing some £1.9 million to build is too big and expensive.

Please let me know if this would be of interest to members

Many thanks..."

Pier applicant Peter Stabbings told the planning committee the proposed development was estimated at£1.8million, while just restoring the pier would be between £300k and £900k. 

It is understood the pier group directors are meeting this evening (Tueday) to discuss talking with representatives from Shotley Sailing Club, Shotley Marina, the Bristol Arms and residents, and also consider appealing against Babergh’s decision.

Rukus At The Rose

Saturday, August 18

Shotley musicians Rukus headline tonight’s music and beer festival at the Rose. 

Playing a heady mix of rock Rukus proved a popular,  outfit got young and old feet tapping, head nodding and the lips synching to some old rock classics.

The live music started at 9pm  and with the beer and cider festival continuing on Sunday.

Real ale buffs will love choosing from a range of bitters, including

Lilley’s ciders always go down well, with pear and raspberry, lemon & lime, mango, and dark cider adding to the fruity selection. 

Customers danced the night away at the Rose on Friday night as the House Shakers, shook the house down with their electic mix of songs through the decades.

Entrance is free and the festival continues from 12noon until 10pm on Sunday.

  • You don't have to be a petrol head to enjoy the wide range of old cars on show on Thursday (August 23, as the East Coast Retros once again roar into Shotley on the large field behind the Rose. The club will be collecting for the St Elizabeth Hospice, with the Rose donating proceedings from the BBQ
  • Next Sunday, August 26, from 4pm, John ‘Fanny’ Adams will be entertaining regulars at the Rose as part of their Bank Holiday weekend entertainment.

Music and beer festival picture special here...

Open Day As Apartments Are Being Snapped Up

Friday, August 17, 15.00

A second open day to view luxury apartments at Shotley is being held on Saturday, August 18. 

Almost half of the 12 two-bedroom flats at Shotley lodge, with views looking down the river Stour have already been snapped up.

Home hunters who missed out first time round are getting and opportunity to view the superbly finished  apartments between 10am and 12noon.

Enjoy the views, take a look around inside and get a feel for the amazing new apartments in Shotley Gate, with prices starting at £255,000.

The finishing touches are taking place at the 12 luxury apartments ahead of the chance for potential buyers to be the first to snap up these homes with stunning vistas over the River Stour and across to Essex.

Each apartment has two-bedrooms and two bathrooms, with the living area leading out to balconies  with fabulous views down the river, or past the historic Admiralty pier to the estuary.

Oak floors, Bosch appliances, top quality bathrooms, lifts to each floor,  dedicated car parking and storage spaces, make these desirable properties, close to the ferry across to Harwich and Felixstowe, and within easy reach of Ipswich and Manningtree stations to reach London in an hour.

Shotley Lodge apartments are being sold through saves Estate Agents Click for details.   

Power Company Helps Sailing Club Buy New Dinghy 

Sunday, August 12, 15.00

Youngsters in Shotley have set sail in a new boat after a donation by UK Power Networks. 

The company, which delivers electricity to eight million customers across East Anglia, London and the South East, has given the club a much-needed £250 grant as part of its Team Sport Award programme and this has part-funded the purchase of a new Topper dinghy.

It donated the money following an application from employee Paul Ross. (Pictured right with some of the club's young sailors) The 48-year has sailed from the age of 10 and is a volunteer instructor at the club.

Shotley Sailing Club works hard alongside the sport's national governing body, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), to ensure sailing is an accessible sport for youngsters aged from six to 16 in the local community.

Paul, who lives in Shotley and works for UK Power Network in their Ipswich office, said: "I've been helping run the junior dinghy sailing programme at Shotley Sailing Club for three years now.

"The children have been developing fast and the need for extra boats to further their experience was essential, and this is where UK Power Networks came in with their valued support which I know everyone at the club really appreciates.

"The money donated has gone towards the purchase of a Topper dinghy. This is a step up from the beginner craft and is already being put to good use by our more experienced young sailors.

"I've been sailing since the age of 10 when my secondary school offered it as a PE option and I enjoyed it because it was so different to other sports on offer.

"I've gone on to race at international level which shows what can be achieved by the next generation of sailors and we're trying our best to get local youngsters on the water in a cost effective way."

Shotley Sailing Club has also recently but a new starter's hut and has plans to improve their base opposite Admiralty pier at Shotley Gate. 

The Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage UK Power Network staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £15,750 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.

Customer Service Pilot For Peninsula

Thursday, August 9, 09.00

Shotley has been chosen to pilot a new pop up customer support access point dealing with Babergh District Council matters. 

Currently peninsula residents have to travel to Stowmarket or Sudbury if they want to deal face to face with Babergh officers.

This new service headed up by Babergh’s Customer Service Team, who will allow provide support for peninsula residents to access the council’s online services. 

The pilot scheme, working in partnership with Suffolk Libraries, will run for the next eight weeks starting on August 13 (apart from Bank Holiday Monday, August 27) at Shotley Village Hall from 1pm – 4.30pm.

 Derek Davis, Babergh district councillor for Shotley, Erwarton, Woolverstone, Chelmondiston and Freston, is also the Cabinet member responsible for Organisational Delivery, which includes customer service, is delighted that the council officers’ hard work and budding relationaship with Suffolk Library Service has paid off.

Cllr Davis added: “Improving customer service access has been a top priority ever since we left our headquarters in Hadleigh and I’m delighted this has come to fruition.

“We recognise how not everyone is fully comfortable with access our services online and appreciate dealing with a human being and this will do just that.

“Given how popular the Monday library at Shotley village hall has been, it makes sense to house a Babergh  officer at the same time and hopefully people from all across the peninsula will find this easier than going to Sudbury or Stowmarket.

“This will give us a clearer picture of what our residents need and if successful will be rolled out in other areas of the district.

“Babergh is developing a very good working relationship with Suffolk Libraries and Tim and his team are already providing a very popular and useful service, and this will complement the existing facility.”

Contact Babergh District Council on: 03001234000 (from 8.45am) to be connected to any council service.

When calling the above number, please select:

  • Option 2 for council tax, housing benefits or housing rents
  • Option 3 for housing or housing repairs
  • Option 4 for bins, household waste and recycling
  • Option 5 for building control or planning
  • Option 6 for licensing
  • Option 7 for environmental health or general enquiries

For emergency repairs to council properties or to report dangerous structures: 0808 168 7794

For business rates: 01473 433851

To make a payment: 0845 372 4112

For a text mobile service for hard of hearing customers: 07827 842833

Suffolk Libraries contact details

  • Telephone: 01473 351 249 (please don’t text this number)
  • Email:

District Councillor

District Ward To Be Reshaped And Called Ganges

Tuesday, August 7, 08.00

Shotley and Erwarton parishes are to come under a newly formed Ganges ward in the Boundary Commission review of Babergh district wards.

The two villages are currently looked after by two district councillors as part of Berners ward, which also includes Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston.

However, the new ward boundaries will reform after the Boundary Commission released its final recommendations, which will go before Parliament when MPS return from the summer recess in September..

Newly named Ganges, Stour and Orwell wards will replace the bulk of the current two-member Berners and one member Holbrook wards and overlap into Belstead and Tattingstone. 

The Local Government Boundary Commission For England (LGBCE) had originally looked at making much of the peninsula a three-member ward, but representations by Holbrook councillor David Rose, supported by Shotley councillor Derek Davis and a couple of parish councils, pointed out that would be unworkable and the panel agreed.

Ganges, named after the former Royal Navy Training Establishment, will comprise of Shotley and Erwarton and be looked after by just one district councillor.

Boundary commissioners took into account of development at the former Ganges site, comprising of 285 new homes, a small hotel, residential care home, a café, retail units and a number of community facilities, which would add to the electorate.

Stour ward, named after the mouth of the river, will also be a one member ward and will now take in Harkstead, Holbrook and Stutton, making it slightly larger than the current ward.

On the other side of the peninsula Orwell ward, will also be a one-member ward but will include Belstead, Wherstead and Tattingstone along with Freston, Woolverstone and Chelmondison.

Brantham will become a one-member ward as expected growth will also boost the electorate there.

The division of those four wards means the same geographical area will lose one district councillor.

In total Babergh district council will reduce the number of councillors from the current 43 to 32, serving 24 wards, with the changes coming into effect at the next district council election in May 2019. 

In its report the Boundary Commission explained how it changed its original recommendation of forming  three member ward to three single member wards after representations were made.

Cllr Davis said: "As a former HMS Ganges boy I'm delighted that the Shotley and Erwarton area will become known as the Ganges ward. I'm delighted the commission took notice of our suggestions and have adopted the three different wards, rather than one huge ward., which I believe would have been unwieldy.

“It is a difficult balancing act in getting the allowed variance in electorate numbers marrying up with geographical areas to comprise the number of wards needed.

“However, while the Orwell ward seems a little stretched with Belstead a bit out on a limb.

“It makes sense for one member to serve the area, rather than three trying to cover everything from Shotley to Belstead, especially if some councilors do not necessarily pull their weight locally.”

Cllr Alastair McCraw, current Alton ward member, added: “The best bit about the new ward structure is that the Peninsula will have four single member wards.

"Brantham & Ganges are two large population centres. There are some compromises in the centre, because equal representation is very important. I like the names of Orwell & Stour.

"The parish groupings follow the roads connecting them and should have similar concerns because of it. But every parish will have one councillor to deal with and to help them."

A little further afield, Capel St Mary, which is subject to some large scale development will also become a one-member ward, while Copdock and Washbrook, will stretch from Bentley to Hintelsham, but new-look Sproughton and Pinewood ward will become a two-member ward.

The LGBCE was tasked to reduce district council members but ensure they improved electoral equality by equalising the number of electors each ward councilor represents. They had to take into account community identity and provide effective and community local government.

Further information can be found on their website

Click for Rose Family Fun Day Picture Special...

Police Appeal For Help To Find Missing Shotley Man

UPDATE: Saturday, July 21

Peter has been found safe and well back in Shotley. The family have thanked everyone, especially the police in looking for Peter.

Thursday, July 19, 06.00

Police are appealing for help in finding 82-year-old Peter Sutcliffe who has gone missing. 

A search has been launched to find Mr Sutcliffe who  was last seen at 09.50 on the morning of Wednesday, July 18, travelling on a bus heading towards Ipswich.

Mr Sutcliffe is described as male, white, 5ft 7ins and of a medium build.

He was last seen wearing a dark coloured baseball cap and a cream T-shirt with ‘Old Guys Rule’ written on the front. He was also wearing jeans and a pair of white shoes.

Peter’s family and police officers are concerned for his welfare and are asking anyone who has seen him to get in touch.

If you know where he is or have any information that could assist officers in their search contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 81 of July 18.

Bevy Of Beauties Swan Off To Shotley

Tuesday, July 17, 16.00

Dozens of youngsters gathering on rocks near Shotley marina have been causing a stir among locals and visitors alike. 

But fear not - these are not bored troublesome teenagers out to cause mischief, and while they can be a bit messy their behaviour is totally natural.

This bevy of mute swans have taken to nesting next to the river Stour, yards from the Shipwreck Loft, bar and restaurant and along from the new Shotley Lodge apartments opposite Admiralty pier.

Almost 100 swans have been spotted together recently and they will casually paddle over to Harwich, dipping into the river, before floating back to the main group at Shotley.

Many are unattached youngsters looking to find a mate before setting off to find a territory of their own.Typical of youngsters they spend much of their time preening, eating or napping, leaving feathers scattered everywhere waiting for the tide to clean up their mess.

Wildfowl ranger Karima Englefield of Bird Aware explained: "They are very sociable birds and like to hand out together. They are like typical teenagers finding their way in the world and are looking to establish their own nests." 

 It is believed the swans have moved up to Shotley Gate from Mistley, perhaps attracted by a rich source of nutrients on the fresher between the rocks acting as a sea defence and the Stour. These native mute swans enjoy marine roots or tubas nestled just under the river bed and are rich in nutrients.

The Shotley swans are unperturbed by people and dogs passing by so close. Most people walk along the pathway and do not stray onto that section of the beach where cormorants regularly use the triangle warning sign at the end of a groin to rest between hunting.

They have proved a popular sideshow and while it is not unusual to see some swans in this particular area, it is understood to be very rare to see so many at any one single period of time.

The swans, officially owned by the Queen, started gathering as the weather started getting warmer and some will have laid eggs, which are due to hatch very soon. 

Once a male cob mates with a female (a pen) they stay together for life, and remain monogamous, with some reputed to die of a broken heart if their other half dies first.

Six swans stats:

  • Swans were given royal status in 12 century by 
  • The Latin name for swans is Cygnus olor
  • The collective noun for swans can be bevy, herd or 
  • It is a criminal offence to harm, or eat a swan under the 1980 Wildlife Act
  • Swans sleep with their head under a wing, and can kip on one leg.
  • Swan eggs take between six and seven weeks to hatch

Chance To Question Council Leader

Friday, July 13, 11.00

Peninsula residents will get the opportunity to quiz Babergh leader John Ward and his deputy Jan Osborne at Shotley Village Hall, on Saturday, July 21, between 10am - 12noon. 

The councillors are inviting people who live and work in the area to ask questions about the council’s work at the event, which has already proved successful at Sudbury and Hadleigh.

Cllr Ward said: “We’ve really enjoyed meeting people who live and work in Babergh and discussing a range of local issues with them and are looking forward to hosting our third question time event, this time in Shotley.

"We would like to invite as many people as possible to join us at Shotley Village Hall, where we will be happy to explain more about what the council does and about our roles as councillors.”

Typical questions Cllrs Ward and Osborne (pictured receiving keys for shared ownership housing in Holbrook) have included issues on planning, housing, council tax and more recently, councillor allowances.

Future events are being planned in Bures, Lavenham, Glemsford, East Bergholt and Great Cornard.

Stalls Available For Shotley Fun Day

Wednesday, July 4, 16.00

Spaces are available for extra stallholders and car-booters at Shotley Family Fun Day as organisers look to take advantage of the glorious weather and host a bumper event later this month. 

Shotley's Bowls Club and the football club, both based at The Rose Inn,  are holding the annual event on Saturday, July 21 starting at 2pm, and already have a great line up of attractions.

There will lots of huffing and puffing as teams take the strain in the Tug of War, children (and no doubt some mums and dads) will be enchanted by the fire engine with crew, there is wood carving, fun games to try and win prizes and impress.

Homemade cakes, breads and savouries will be available, along with burgers and snacks, and a licensed bar. The newly relaid village hall car park offers free parking for the throngs.

However, there are still spaces for stalls and vehicles for the car boot, on the field behind the pub.Sarah Pallant, Shotley Rose landlady, said: "We are fortunate to enjoy wonderful support from the community for our fun day but we are down on the number of stalls this year at the moment.

"Not only is more the merrier, and we have some lovely people booked for stall already, but the funds raised go to wonderful causes."

Sarah can be contacted during opening hours at the Rose, pop in and book, or call 787237.

June 2018

Flower Festival In Full Colourful Flow

Saturday, June 30, 11.30

Wonderful smells, amazing colours and clever bouquet displays are in abundance at St Mary's church today and tomorrow. 

A flower festival has been held at Shotley church for more than 50 years, and this one doesn't disappoint.

Using a get out and about holiday theme, which fits in with Shotley's accolade as Suffolk's joint-most active village, the displays include walking, farm holidays camping, sailing, fishing, and travel.

Roses, marigolds, lilies, carnations and daisies are among the amazing array of flowers used to create clever and interesting arrangements, by local groups.

 Hong Kong, Ireland, America, Scotland, the Caribbean and the Aztecs all get a worthy slot, while alternative tables offer freshly baked artisan bread, pasties, cakes and rolls, and the popular Scorchwood creates bespoke engraved wood designs. 

Groups, such as the WI, Mothers' Union, Whist Drive, Over 60s Walkers Are Welcome (Shotley Open Spaces) Village Hall Management Committee, along with a number of individual villagers have put a lot of effort in to make this a spectacular success. 

The flower festival runs today and tomorrow (Sunday) starting at 11.00 to 16.00, with free entry, and a raffle will be held as the church looks to raise money for ongoing repairs.

If you were unable to get along and enjoy the displays, or would like to see them again in photo form, see our picture special here ....

Meet Up Day To Combat Loneliness Launched

Sunday, June 10, 09.00

 A campaign to tackle loneliness is coming to the peninsula, with a unique twist. 

Initially started by a single pub in London, Meet Up Monday's has spread like wildfire and The Rose Inn in Shotley has joined in this important cause. 

However, as Monday is usually landlady Sarah Pallant (pictured right) and her partner chef Jamie Barwick's day off, they are opening their doors on a Tuesday lunchtime instead.

The initiative, which encourages people to visit the pub for a free cup of tea or coffee and meet like-minded individuals who may not ordinarily have somewhere to go and mingle.

The idea is that local cafes, pubs, tea-rooms and other eating establishments open their doors for a short time  to welcome people who would not normally feel confident to go anywhere to socialise and may be lonely.

Starting on Tuesday, June 12, at the Rose, everyone will be able to meet other people over a free cup of coffee/tea and develop new networks and friendships.

Sally Watson, Suffolk's Building Community Capacity Officer, said: "I’m sure many of you have seen recent media reports about loneliness, and how the medical professional are calling it a ‘Killer’, likening it to ‘smoking 15 cigarettes a day’.

"To try to reduce this in Suffolk, The Rural Coffee Caravan and Community Action Suffolk have introduced a London initiative called ‘Meet-Up-Mondays’ to the county.

"Having worked with the Community Connector over the past 9 months, I know there are people on the Peninsular who would benefit from this type of social gathering, so when I mentioned this initiative to Sarah at The Rose Inn, Shotley, I was thrilled she embraced the idea without hesitation. However, because the Rose isn’t open on a Monday, she is opening instead on a Tuesday morning."

See Meet Up poster

* A similar initiative has already been running in Chelmondiston with a Hope cafe. More details here...

MAY 2018

Village Hall Car Park Set To be Resurfaced

Thursday, May 31, 07.00

Work is due to start on a £21,000 project to resurface the car park at Shotley Village Hall next week. 

Hard graft by Shotley Village Hall Management Committee, with widespread support from the community, has seen it raise more than £20,000 and a contractor has been selected to make the current gravel-style car park safer and more accessible.

Shotley is a thriving community and the village hall is used by hundreds of people annually, with dozens of groups and organisations meeting there.

It was voted Babergh and Suffolk Village of the Year in 2016, was made joint-winner last year along with Stradbroke as the county’s Most Active Village, and also became Suffolk’s first accredited Walkers Are Welcome destination.

All this has attracted more visitors to the village and added to the local use, the proximity to the primary school for picking up and dropping off children, the car park has been extremely well used, but has led to concerns over the standard and safety of the car park going forward.

 Ian Peters, Village Hall Management Committee chairman said: “The village hall building is an iconic space for all those living in Shotley and the surrounding areas.

“It is a vital facility for all and it is important to preserve and improve it for our communities for their long-term sustainability.  The car park is crucial in this - it would be of real concern if the village hall was not accessible without the surrounding car park being improved, made safe, fully marked out for accessibility and being a dropping off / picking up without incident. 

“We have been very adept at repairing and patching up the original surface, but it is now vital for us to fully improve and update our car park. Pot holes are causing the area to be very unsafe and inaccessible and we must ensure we rectify these major issues to avoid accidents or injuries.”

The planned development at the former HMS Ganges site will add more potential users with 285 homes, a small hotel and care home being built, with the resultant construction traffic going through the village and parents are encouraged to use the car park.

Mr Peters added: “The former HMS Ganges site is now set to be developed and this leads us to believe that there will be a greater need for community activities over and above those that are facilitated here.

“This resurfacing work will also mean that our aim to provide a safe haven for parents bringing their children to school, which is some 150 metres away, is vitally important for us to ensure we provide car parking facilities which are safe, fully accessible and free to all our users, particularly for those with mobility issues and who are older or more vulnerable.

“We have been very adept at repairing and patching up the original surface, but it is now vital for us to fully improve and update our car park. Pot holes are causing the area to be very unsafe and inaccessible and we must ensure we rectify these major issues to avoid accidents or injuries.”

Many groups, organisations and individuals helped raise the money needed to fund the resurfacing work, including a large donation    from Shotley Premier Stores and Post Office owner Manish Patel and Mr Peters expressed his and the committee’s gratitude to all concerned.

Mr Peters said: “Manish not only gave us a wonderful evening of Indian food but raised a staggering £1,672 in the process.

“Ipswich Insulations, Viking Forest Project, Shotley Drama Group, Over 60’s, the W.I. and many others have all come together and donated events and money to the cause. 

“Our sincere thanks to our own Independent Councillor, Derek Davis who was instrumental in organising a meeting between the Chairman of SVHMC, Ian Peters, Barrie Powell of the Parish Council and Babergh District Council’s External Funding Officer, Chris Knock. Chris not only provided sound advice as to how we should gain Big Lottery Funding but at secondary meetings gave further advice which smoothed the application process. Derek also helped in securing letters of support from other organisations.

“Our thanks to all those people who take part in the Lottery. Without them, projects such as this would not happen.” 

While villagers do walk to the hall whenever possible, public transport is restricted with no evening service, so car usage is necessary, but Mr Peters hopes that will not put people off using the hall.

He added: “We want, at the village hall, to enable and encourage people to get involved in a range of activities and events to build their confidence, increase their self-esteem and learn new skills.

“Our hall offers a fantastic variety of activities. Our partnership work with the parish council and user groups reflects the ethos of age being no barrier to learning and developing new skills. The same philosophy applies to our youth group which nurtures and develops the skills and knowledge of young people. 

“Several fitness groups meet in the village hall, and the new guided walks organised by the Walkers are Welcome group depend on those people visiting being able to park easily and safely.

“This project will make sure that can happen for years to come.

To book the village hall contact: 788517

Russian Sailor's Plea For Political Asylum In Shotley

Saturday, May 26.

A Russian man has applied for political asylum after mooring alongside Bristol Pier, Shotley Gate. 

Border Force officers were called on Monday after the man sailed into the Stour Estuary and tied up at the hammerhead part of the pier.

He then made his way down the dilapidated pier structure and walked down to the control tower at Shotley Marina to claim asylum.

Home Office officials interviewed the man, and released him, after he formally made his application to stay in the UK.

The sailor is understood to have made his way from Russia to the Netherlands where he bought the yacht, with the name Mira on her stern, in Amsterdam before sailing the 89-mile journey across the North Sea.

He told locals he had followed the Stena ferry into the harbour after getting lost on his journey.

Suffolk Police were called to the pier on Friday and spoke to the asylum-seeker, but left after being satisfied with his paperwork.

 Officers from a Border Force vessel visited the yacht today as a follow up measure, and van with two officers was parked near the pier entrance for a number of hours..

The Home Office today told Peninsula News it does not discuss individual cases but are looking into the matter.

A Home Office spokesperson added: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and every case is assessed on its individual merits.”

It can take six months for asylum seekers to be granted, or refused, permission to stay in the UK, longer if more paperwork is needed.

To succeed in being allowed to stay as a political refugee applicants must be able to show how they are being persecuted in their home country and why they fear returning.

Shotley Pier Project were asked to comment about the yachtsman at the end of the pier, but have so far failed to respond.

Last December a Sudanese youngster was discovered under a coach on the Shotley peninsula, which had been transporting pupils from Holbrook and Chelmondiston primary schools on strip, after he had stowed away at Calais.

Royal Mail Hailed Over Post Box U-Turn

Monday, May 21, 06.00

District councilor Derek Davis has praised Royal Mail for their U-turn on delivering a post box in Shotley. 

The post box on Bristol Hill, Shotley Gate, was closed in 2016 after the old shop and post office was closed, and permission was granted to turn it into a house.

Despite the best efforts of former postmaster and parish council chairman Barrie Powell the Royal Mail refused to provide a new mail box.

In September 2017, the parish council minutes recorded how Cllr Powell, the clerk and Suffolk County Councillor had tried everything to get the Royal Mail to reinstate the post box, but had now power over them and had found it extremely difficult to succeed.

However, Cllr Davis refused to give up and used a contact who used to be a senior communications manager at Royal Mail, to contact a high-ranking director and plead the case for a post box on Bristol Hill.

Less than a month later, a Royal Mail responded by letter to confirm they had reconsidered due to Cllr Davis’ request and a new post  box would be installed.

Arrangements were made by the public affairs manager Michael Hogg for a local collection planning manager to install the post box at the top of Bristol Hill.

Despite initial problems with underground pipes the post box is now in place, although is not yet officially open for use.

“This is a real boon for many people in Shotley Gate, especially those who still prefer to post letters,” said Cllr Davis. “It has been a hassle for many to get to other post boxes, even in Great Harlings/Tudor Close, so this is really convenient.

“I want to thank Royal Mail, and in particular Michael Hogg for organising this after I wrote to them pointing out how important it was to have a post box on Bristol Hill.

"I know how hard Barrie worked to try and get a post box but when he admitted he had got nowhere, I thought I would try and help. thankfully Royal Mail responded positively to my request."

Cllr Davis was also hoping the new post box, could tie in with Shotley’s centenary celebration of the U-boat surrender, when dozens of German submarines moored alongside Admiralty pier, close to the Bristol Arms, and along the river Stour.

Cllr Davis added: "One thing at a time, perhaps that will come at a later date. Meanwhile, we are grateful to get our post box back.”

Penny Smile As Scouts Lay Copper Trail

While many were watching the build up to the Royal Wedding, a group of Shotley scouts were making their own smiles as they collected small change for their annual Penny Mile. 

While leaders shook buckets at passing motorists, youngsters from Shotley 1st Scout group were decoratively laying out the coins along the Street.

The tradition of collecting along the main road at Shotley, aiming to get a mile's worth of coppers, goes back many years when Allana Baxter started the initiative in order to help raise funds for a wheelchair access minibus.

The current scout group have been out in all weathers for the past seven years, raising an average £250 per year, and passers-by stopped to contribute on this sunny Saturday. 

Shotley 1st Scouts are also behind the Phil The Bag initiative, where they collect unwanted clothes to raise money.

Their good work in the community, and by giving youngsters an opportunity to learn new skills, have fun and adventures, last year earned the scout group recognition by the High Sheriff of Suffolk. Geoffrey Probert  awarded them a certificate of commendation, which was accepted by Jane Leach.

See more pictures here...

Council Plans Private Talks To Deal With Issues

Shotley Parish Council plans to hold talks in privatewith its own members, its clerk and a district councillor, after a number of concerns were raised at their latest public meeting.

Chairman Barrie Powell said he would hold a private meetings to deal with issues regarding a lack of information and consultation after a number of councillors, including Cllr Gary Richens, Cllr Nicola Green and Cllr Maureen Williams spoke out.

Clerk Dina Bedwell was also unhappy at what she perceived to be a lack of protection from the council.

The council also plan to meet with district councilor Derek Davis and Babergh’s monitoring officer, after threatening to ban him attending parish council meetings in his democratically elected role, after suffering criticism in the media.

It was also reported the parish council could not approve the annual accounts as it was having problems getting statements from their bank and Cllr Powell was going to meet with bank officials.

Apologies were given at the meeting for the absence of Bob Higgs, who has not been to a parish council meeting for 12 months. It was explained the latest absence was due to Mr Higgs undergoing a minor eye procedure.

During the planning section of the meeting the parish council voted to no longer object to an application for six glamping tents, a building and permission to hold events at Frogs Alley, near St Mary’s church, Shotley.

The PC had previously objected to the application for a large number of reasons, but councilors said they were now satisfied after an addendum placed by the applicant.

The council also voted not to object to applications for extensions at two houses on Bristol Hill, and a conversion at Red Lodge Fram, Wades Lane.

Expenditure, estimated to be between £200 and £250 was approved to pay for the change of name and details on the current Marine Management licence, which expires in 2019, was approved.

The steering group set up to explore the options for a possible community group to take a protection scheme forward, and the council said it would offer some financial support to help in the formation.

An unnamed individual was given permission to hold taster Boot Camps, at the Lloyd Road and Kingsland public parks.

Welcome Sign Can Stay For Now

Thursday, May 17, 07.00

A community group will not be forced to immediately remove a welcome sign erected by Shotley village hall's car park. 

Shotley Open Spaces, a volunteer group which cuts back unruly brambles and other vegetation from public footpaths around the village ensuring a clearer passage for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and children's buggies.

The sign also hails Shotley's achievement of becoming Suffolk's first accredited Walkers Are Welcome destination,and has proved popular with the vast majority of villagers and visitors.

But one anonymous complaint triggered a warning from Babergh District Council's enforcement team telling SOS last week to remove the sign with seven days.

But now, after district councillor Derek Davis spoke with senior officers, SOS will be given time to apply for the necessary permission and the council will not carry out enforcement action for now.

However, there may be  hefty administration cost to Shotley Open Spaces, and as a volunteer group that has no discernible income that could be difficult for them to muster.

The news of the complaint and impending removal sparked an angry response with more than 180 comments on social media backing SOS and making their feelings towards the anonymous complainant known.

SOS spokesman Tony Lawford-Randall said: "There is nothing wrong with the sign and we don;t understand why this person would complain. We welcome visitors to Shotley, we have so much to offer here and we want people to enjoy what we have.

"We are really grateful to the support we have had from the community and we will do what we can, working with the village hall committee, who have also been brilliant, so a welcome sign is displayed."

 SOS were previously told to remove the sign from the entrance to the village, where it was displayed on a grass area next to the Corner garage.

As a result of the complaint, Babergh will now be looking at whether other large signs along the B1456 and at the bottom of Bristol Hill have permission.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Luke Deal (left in white shirt) came out to see for himself and interviewed locals, who allsupport the sign, Mr Lawford-Randall and Cllr Davis, which was broadcast on Mark Murphy's Breakfast show (go to 27mins on link). 

Cliff Protection Steering Group Formed At Fractious Meeting

Wednesday, May 16, 07.00

A steering group has been formed to look at the possibility of setting up a community group to take over the vital coastal protection work at Shotley cliffs, after the parish council said they would no longer lead the project. 

Despite 35 people being at last night’s meeting in the village hall, only two people put their hands up to volunteer to form the steering group, Barbara Moss-Taylor and Jeff Howell.

Ray Millan said he would consider joining at a later date, while Robbie Green reluctantly offered to be the liaison from the parish council.

Co-op director Sally Chicken, a £350-a-day member of the Power to Change panel, offered to give advice on the best sort of community group to form eg: charity, community interest company etc.

Mrs Chicken insists any payment made by the Power to Change Panel for her involvement is made directly to the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society.

Shotley Open Spaces, whose members who a vital part of getting phases one and two of the coastal protection work done, and have vast experience in the processes, were asked to lead but declined citing mistrust and bad experiences with the parish council and the clerk, as reasons not to do so.

The 90-minute meeting heard that vital maintenance work and two annual inspections, had not been carried out by the parish council, despite grants and funding being paid to it, and this had led further deterioration in the area.  

The fractious meeting highlighted some of the problems encountered over the past four years on land owned by the Parish Council, and adjoining areas, along with the ongoing problems between SOS and the parish council. One lady, Susan Rouse, walked out after becoming frustrated at the acrimony.

The parish council claim legal advice prevented them carrying leading the project, even though they have the support of all the statutory bodies and hold the necessary Marine Management Organisation licence, which is valid until next year, and own much of the cliffs affected.

Read SOS Rift With Parish Council here...

Share Your Sporting Memory

Monday, 07.00 

The weekly library in Shotley has teamed up with the Sporting Memories Network to host a monthly Sporting Memories reminiscence group at the village hall, starting today at 1pm. 

Sporting Memories groups offer anyone over the age of 50 the chance to revisit memories and share stories of taking part in or witnessing sporting events and make new friends.

There will also be the opportunity to handle superb sporting images and memorabilia from local and national collections, talk about any kind of sport, from football to speedway, cricket to athletics and beyond.

Over the coming months activities will include sport-themed games, quizzes and other gentle activities 

The group will launch on Monday, May 14, at 1pm  there will be free tea, coffee and biscuits. Everyone is welcome and it is free to attend. 

The group will then meet on June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10. 

Please pass details of the group onto anyone who might be interested. More information about the library every Monday at Shotley Village Hall can be found here... Shotley library.

Booze Brothers Fundraiser For Midwife Student Emily

Saturday, May 12, 11.00

A midwifery student is looking to boost her fundraising efforts for a placement to Tanzania with a gig by the Booze Brothers at the Shotley Rose tonight. 

Emily Pugh, is planning a three-week trip to Dar es Salaam in August where she will spend two weeks working in a hospital, and a third in an African village helping expectant mums.

Emily is at almost 75% of her £900 target, which will be match funded by sponsor Enable Technology, and is hoping the popular band at the Rose, along with a raffle will edge her nearer her dream.

The second-year student plans to gain clinical experience in deliveries and special care also looking after women at high risk of pre-eclampsia and post-partum haemorrhage.

Emily explained on her Just Giving page how she will be working in healthcare clinics undertaking maternity work, pediatrics, vaccination programmes, malaria treatment and family planning.

The Booze Brothers will kick off at 9pm tonight, and entrance to the Rose Inn is free.

If you can’t make it but would like to donate go to Emily’s Just Giving Page here…

Holiday Lodges Set For Shotley

Friday, April 11, 06.30

Two holiday lodges have been proposed on farm land set back from the main B1456 road in Shotley. 

Potter Deborah Baynes has applied to build the two, one and half storey lodges in an area behind Nether Hall, next to Over Hall, aimed at attracting more visitors to the peninsula.

Mrs Baynes already runs pottery classes in a workshop within the grounds of Nether Hall and the  proposed development would provide accommodation for pottery students,as part of a residential course. 

The two week course focuses on throwing pots during week one and firing during week two. The weekend between would be free for students and their families to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Nether Hall and explore the local area of the Shotley Peninsula and beyond.

It is expected the three-bedroom lodges could provide part-time employment and and help boost the economy with walkers, photographers and general tourist visitors using the nearby pubs and shops

The prefabricated timber-frame, self-catering lodges (similar to the one pictured right) would offer accommodation for up to six guests and access would be gained via the existing entrance, which would be upgraded.

The application can be found on the Babergh planning page reference: DC/18/01143

Ganges Mast Replicated In Australia

Friday, May 4, 14.00

A little piece of the Shotley peninsula has been replicated in Australia with the iconic HMS Ganges mast being built in a back garden. 

An 11ft scale model of the original 111-year-old mast at Shotley Gate was painstakingly crafted by former Ganges boy Tony Smith, who trained at Ganges in 1960.

Mr Smith first erected the model in Karratha, Western Australia more than three years ago, then rebuilt it in his rear garden in Warnboro, Perth when he moved home.

Tony lost count of the hours it took him to build the replica mast, which he did using rough sawn Jarrah wood, before carving it out by hand, with the delicate rigging proving the most difficult to complete.

The dazzling white mast is lit up at night by red spotlights and is something of a talking point in Perth, with one friend describing it as 'a thing of beauty'. 

 Mr Smith's project came to light when friends visited HMS Ganges Museum last month and were shown around by the chairman Derek Davis who explained how the original mast was going to be taken down and renovated to its former glory, as part of development at the old Ganges site.

Thousands of former Ganges boys have climbed the mast, with only a few chosen to be the Button Boy for ceremonial parades, and rewarded with a silver coin.

Erected in 1907, two years after the Royal Navy Training Establishment was moved ashore to Shotley Gate, the 143ft mast, with another 18ft buried deep into the ground, was made up from the foremast of HMS Cordelia and the topmast of HMS Agincourt, which had been renamed Ganges II when it became a training ship.

Visit HMS Ganges Museum here...

Share Your Sporting Memory

Thursday, May 3, 07,00 

The weekly library in Shotley has teamed up with the Sporting Memories Network to host a monthly Sporting Memories reminiscence group at the village hall. 

Sporting Memories groups offer anyone over the age of 50 the chance to revisit memories and share stories of taking part in or witnessing sporting events and make new friends.

There will also be the opportunity to handle superb sporting images and memorabilia from local and national collections, talk about any kind of sport, from football to speedway, cricket to athletics and beyond.

Over the coming months activities will include sport-themed games, quizzes and other gentle activities 

The group will launch on Monday, May 14, at 1pm  there will be free tea, coffee and biscuits. Everyone is welcome and it is free to attend. 

The group will then meet on June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10. 

Please pass details of the group onto anyone who might be interested. More information about the library every Monday at Shotley Village Hall can be found here... Shotley library.

April 2018

East Coast Retros Revved Up With Rose Rally

Monday, April 30, 08.00

Even the persistent drizzle could not dampen spirits as the Shotley Rose held its first East Coast Retros rally of the year. 

More than 50 cars going back to the 1950s were on display at the Rose field on Sunday, attracting car enthusiasts from all over the peninsula and beyond.

Mercedes, Volkswagen, Alfa Romeos and souped up Subarus were among the models on display with cars dating before the year 2000 being shown off by their owners.

Organiser Roo Ward said: "It is good to see so many coming along even in this weather.

"We have managed to get up to 250 cars along at one go, but that was exceptional weather and everything came together.

"We expect to see numbers getting up there as word about us being at the Rose gets out and the summer comes."

Mr Ward explained the rally moved from its previous home on the peninsula, the Shipwreck, as it became difficult to control the numbers.

"We are trialling the Rose as we needed to have better control for safety reasons. The field is self contained and we can manage the numbers better.

"It is still next to a pub and it also has refreshments and burgers/hot dogs alongside so our members can stay close and chat to people about their cars."

Rose landlady Sarah Pallant said: "They brightened up an otherwise grotty day. It was lovely to have something different and they were all very friendly so we are looking forward to seeing them throughout the summer."

The next East Coast Retros rally at the Shotley Rose field is due to be held on Tuesday, May 22 starting 6pm.

See picture spread here...

Man Rescued After Being Trapped Waist Deep on 'Pirate Beach'

Sunday, April 22, 17.15

A 24-stone man trapped almost waist deep in mud on ‘Pirate Beach’ in Shotley has hailed the emergency crews which rescued him this afternoon.

Joseph Deaves, 32, became stuck while with enjoying the sunshine with friends and their children, on Shotley cliffs, and then out onto the beach with the tide well out at that stage.

“We come out here with my niece and nephew searching for treasure and as I was walking along my left leg became trapped, and then my right leg,” said Mr Deaves, from Witnesham, “I tried to push out with my leg with no luck.

“My mate Matthew tried to help and he and Alex, found a big slab to stand on to try and pull me out but that didn’t work either, so we had to call the Coastguard.”

Coastguard volunteer Shane Rolin, who is also landlord and chef at the Bristol Arms, stopped what he was doing in the kitchen and rushed to the man’s aid, just after 2pm, today.

The rest of his Holbrook Coastguard crew were on the scene within around 10 minutes, swiftly followed by nine Suffolk Fire and Rescue vehicles, along with paramedics, an ambulance and Incident Centre van, and Felixstowe Coastguard..

“I just to say thank you to everyone that came out and helped rescue me," said Mr Deaves (above with a friend. Picture by Rev Simon Hodding). “I'm glad they came and rescued me so quickly.”

 One of Mr Deaves’ friends had taken him, his son and two grandchildren to Shotley but did not expect the trip to be so dramatic.

Reverend Simon Hodding, also from Witnesham, said “We often come down here with my grandchildren. They call it the pirate beach as we like to come down looking for treasure. The kids were playing on the bank and we jumped out on the beach.

“It felt a bit soft so we stopped and sent the kids back. When we turned around Joe was stuck and we tried to help him.

“The water was a long way out when it happened and we thought it was a bit of a laugh at first. But when we realised how serious it was and the water was coming in, we had to call the Coastguard.

“He was very upset at first and a bit shaken but fortunately he is alright now.”

Mr Hodding revealed the rescue could have been more difficult if Mr Deaves had not been on a strict diet recently.

“Joe is 24 stone, but it could have been worse because he used to weigh 30 stone, so he has done well to drop to that,” said Mr Wooding.

“We called the Coatsguard and then the rest of the emergency services came and dug him out.

“One guy turned up really quickly (Shane, pictured above) and about 10 minutes later the rest turned up.

“The emergency crews were absolutely fantastic.” 

Mr Deaves was able to walk to the Bristol Arms and recuperated in the Tea On The Quay while being monitored by paramedics to ensure he was medically safe to return home.

The Holbrook and Felixstowe coastguard crews were supported in the multi-agency operation by nine pumps from as far as Bury St Edmunds, Woodbridge and Stowmarket responded to the incident along with two from Ipswich and the retained Holbrook crew.

Picture special...

Clerk Clashes With Councillor Over Lack of Information And Improper Process

Friday, April 20, 12.00

A meeting with the public to discuss phase three of the work to protect Shotley cliffs from coastal erosion could be delayed after the parish clerk refused to allow councilor Gary Richens the right to speak about the project. 

The matter was due to be discussed at last night’s Shotley parish council meeting but the clerk insisted the item could not be discussed if Cllr Richen remained in the room.

The clerk Dina Bedwell refused to allow Cllr Richens to withdraw his previous declaration of a pecuniary interest, which meant he would not be allowed to take part in discussion or would have to leave the room.

She refused to accept that Cllr Richen did not have a pecuniary interest and insisted his previous declaration stood.

Cllr Richens argued he had not been given sound advice when the matter was previously discussed, and proper procedure regarding voting on a dispensation was not followed.

 Mrs Bedwell denied she had not followed correct procedure and said Cllr Richen had not sought her advice, even though she was in the room and able to give the appropriate advice, which if given would have allowed Cllr Richen to vote.

It is normal practice for each councilor to declare before every meeting whether they have a pecuniary interest (something which they could benefit financially from), or a non-pecuniary interest, eg: when they know the applicant very well, or are related, or live nearby, for items on the agenda.

Cllr Richen advised he had sought advice elsewhere was confident he would not have to declare a pecuniary interest, just as other councilors in a similar position had not.

Parishioners were hoping to hear the outcome of a meeting between statutory bodies held last month, in which it was agreed the parish council would call a public meeting, possibly in May.

Cllr Richen expressed his frustration at the lack of information given to him on a number of matters and regretted having to ask for a response at a public meeting.

He said: "The only way I can get information is by putting in FOI (Freedom of Information) requests even though I sit on the council.”

Cllr Richens and Mrs Bedwell clashed again towards the end of the meeting during the any other business section.

Cllr Richens, who is also chairman of community group Shotley Open Spaces, asked why he had not received a response to emails he had requested regarding the council’s actions in cutting back a large firebreak in Heritage Woods.

Mrs Bedwell, who is also clerk to both Debenham and Brundish parish councils, with a combined salary of more than £30,000, said she had not had time to respond over the past two months but had now prepared a reply.

She told the meeting last night that no written consultation had been given by any fire officers, only a verbal suggestion the parish council should build  firebreak.

However, Peninsula News reported at the time that although fire crews suggested to the parish council that fire breaks may be a good idea, following a small fire last summer, there is no legislation in place requiring owners of woodland to put distance between trees and houses.

Henry Landis, Suffolk Fire Service Inspecting Officer for protection (fire safety), said: “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.”

During a previous parish council meeting chairman Barrie Powell, apologised for the removal of woodland and undergrowth known to be habitation for wildlife, being taking back too far.

Equestrian Field Bid At Frogs Alley

Tuesday, April 17, 07.00

A new equestrian area for an initial three horses is planned opposite the controversial proposed glamping site at Frogs Alley. 

John Davitt, who is the father of the owner of the vineyard that wants to erect a building to hold late night events along with six large glamping pods, has requested permission to convert a playing field into an equestrian field, with hard-standing and stables, on land which is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Davitt has applied for planning permission to change the field, which was previously used as a football pitch where youngsters from Shotley Rangers used to occasionally train, for private equestrian use, erect a permanent field shelter and tack room, along with a 720sg metres area of hard-standing.

The land is below the Commonwealth War Graves at St Mary’s Church, Shotley and next to number eight Frogs Alley.

The applicant claims the new field for his three horses is needed as they are currently sited on a meadow prone to flooding and one horse now has a condition called laminitis, which can be caused by grazing on continuously damp land.

In a covering letter to planners Mr Davitt’s agent said: “The site will only be used privately and will not be sued as a commercial livery.”

Comments can be made on Babergh's planning website.

The application by Mr Davitt comes weeks after his daughter Charlotte and her partner Craig Mills requested permission to turn the vineyard area just below the second world war Royal Navy cemetery on the east of Frogs Alley.

More than 30 objectors have lodged complaints on Babergh’s planning website quoting reference DC/18/01418.

Mr Davitt is also the chairman of Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society, which has put in a controversial bid to build a 15ft high, 138 ft building, along with workshops, offices and a 84-seater café on the Victorian pier opposite the Bristol Arms.

Villagers, including shareholders of the pier project have expressed their dismay and disgust at the plans, saying it is not what many envisaged when the suggestion to buy the pier and restore it to a public amenity where people could walk along, and sit in peace to view the scenery and perhaps fish off the end.

No consultation was held with members of the community about this application, despite assurances when shares were sold there would be. 

Comments on the pier application can be made on Babergh website quoting DC/18/01384, or if there are access issues to the case officer

Bid To Add Five New Homes On Caravan Park

Monday, April 16, 08.00

An application has been made to add another five permanent homes at seasonal caravan park in Shotley.

If the Lawful Development Certificate for Proposed Use or Development is issued by Babergh District Council’s legal services team, then the site owners will be allowed to ask to house 18 caravans, although conditions may be attached. 

The owners Mr and Mrs Casey, want to increase the number of residential caravans from three to eight, and continue to use 10 caravans on a seasonal basis.

 A previous attempt to increase the number of caravans on the site, which is part of the Suffolk Coastal and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was refused.

The application was made by Mrs Barbara Casey, through the agent Philip Brown.

The caravan park was bought at auction by Patrick Casey for £275,000 in 2015 from Paul Root, whose father first moved onto the land and lived in a converted coach in 1982.

Groundworks have been taking place on the land and larger caravans have been settled in. (pictured)

In 1996 a planning inspector ruled up to 13 caravans, to be used on a seasonal basis between April 1 to the end of October. It was confirmed in March 2017 that three could be lived in by family members on an all-year round basis, following another application.

Neighbours to the site have previously expressed concern that the owners have breached the conditions, and Babergh’s enforcement team has been investigating for at least a year.

Groundworks have been taking place on the land and larger caravans have been settled in.

Return to headlines

Workshops and Offices Applied For At Victorian Shotley Pier

Friday.April 13, 06.00

An application has been made to build a workshop, offices and an 84-seater café on the recently acquired Shotley pier, opposite the   Bristol Arms. 

The new development would be between 4m-4.5m (almost 15ft) high above the existing pier structure, and go back a total of 42.1m, (138 foot), more than a third of the pier’s length, 98ft for the covered structure (shown in blue below). 

Each of the two buildings being built as permanent structures on the shore side of the Victorian pier, will jut out nearly seven metres (nearly 20ft) on either side of the pier entrance, which is three metres wide.

According to the design statement, the cafe will have a seating area for up to 84 people with one full time and two-part time jobs created, but is not clear whether they will be volunteers or paid staff.

There is no provision for extra parking, therefore it is expected visitors, people using the workshop, staff and volunteers will park in the public car parkingspaces on Victoria Drive, opposite the Bristol Arms, currently used by short term visitors, including dog-owners, walkers and families visiting the nearby picnic area and beach.

Despite assurances during the fund-raising phase last year that Shotley residents would have a say in how the pier would look following renovations, no public consultation regarding these plans was held in the village before the application was made.

As Babergh council donated £20,000 towards the initial project for the community to restore the pier so people could walk down and enjoy the views, it is likely the planning committee with decide on the application, especially as it is significantly different than a pervious application for a much smaller kiosks on the site.

The first the vast majority of people will know about what the new owners envisaged is at this panning application stage, despite promises the community would have a say in how the pier would be used.

Public meetings,going back as far as September 2016, vowed the pier would be for the community using it a a pier to walk down and enjoy the views, with public benches down each side and casual fishing at the end.

It was made clear to potential shareholders that the pier would not be over-developed, such as piers at Clacton and Walton.

According to surveyors that carried out an inspection of the pier last year, nearly £400,000 will be needed to repair the damaged structure and the three-metre wide walkway, to the hammerhead section.

The large-scale development is yardrs from Admiralty pier, which was used by Ganges boys as part of their seamanship training and where cutters and whalers were berthed. That will be opened as part of a separate building project.

People can make their comment on the Babergh planning website, reference number DC/18/01384, before May 1, or if there are access issues to the case officer

Houseshakers Headline Rose Beer Festival

Landlady Sarah Pallant has revealed the line-up for this year’s beer and music festival at the Shotley Rose. 

Five-piece rock and roll band the Houseshakers are the headline act on Friday, August 17, with RUKUS playing on the Saturday.

Playing a popular mix of 1960’s, 70s and 80s rock ‘n’ roll and glam rock, the Houseshakers are a popular Ipswich-based band, that have played far and wide.

They perform crowd favourites including songs from Elvis, the Beatles, Status Quo and T Rex.

Made up of experienced musicians the Houseshakers are fronted by lead vocalist Adrian, while lead guitarist Barry is also a backing singer, and there is also Ryan on rhythm guitar, Kerry plays bass while the drummer is the entertaining John.

The original Houseshakers backed 60 legends such as Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry and Bo Didley, including playing live at Wembley, but since Jam Walls retired none of the current band played with the originals. 

However, the music remains pure rock and roll.

RUKUS are a Shotley-based band, made up of local a musicians and also play popular, easy to listen to hits from the past.

A range of real ale and ciders will be available, while Jamie will be busy making sure tummies are filled.

Community Spirit Makes Local Library Service A Success

Monday, April 9, 17.00

An impromptu version of ‘Three Little Pigs’ provided the highlight of Suffolk Libraries’ first birthday of their weekly Suffolk Library Localservice at Shotley Village Hall. 

Four young girls epitomised the variety and fun enjoyed by people of all ages when they put on their excellent version of the classic fairy story, still read by thousands of youngsters, once the adults got the official thanks out of the way.

Dozens of book lovers enjoyed cake, games, Lego, books and a singalong, with babies, mingling happily with pensioners, and all ages in-between.

The library service started a year ago, as a trial to try and engage more people with the local library as there was no static facility on the peninsula, and the success enjoyed at Shotley is being rolled out elsewhere, with Rushmere the latest to follow suit.

Librarian Tom Veasey, who has played a huge part in making the venture, funded initially by Suffolk County Council, a hit, said: “It has been successful right from day one and that is down to the great sense of community here on the peninsula.

 “It is all down to the volunteers and people who have supported it all along. It has been people of all ages, the parents, the children and the older folks as well.

“There is no prescription here on what we have to do, as long as there is tea, coffee and cakes which is standard for Shotley, it is about what people want to do.

“We have many children coming along, and we have an incredible amount of books being lent out, mainly to children, so we want to do more for the elder folks too, but it is down to them about what they want.”

One idea is to have sporting memory sessions but other ideas are also being explored.

Funding has been secured to continue the service for at least one more year.

Shotley Parish councilor Gary Richens added: “It is a wonderful initiative and it is brilliant to see the local library doing so well.

“People of all ages are engaged and anything that helps everyone access to books, and the enjoyment and knowledge they bring, has to be a good thing for Shotley.”

See birthday celebration pictures here...

MARCH 2018

Upbeat Birthday Celebrations for Walking Group

Nearly 50 walkers aged from four years old to 70 celebrated Shotley's Walkers Are Welcome group's first birthday. 

Although a bit dank, the worst of the weather held off as the walkers completed the two mile route, while finding 20 clues to win a chocolate creme egg. 

The walk started and finished at the Bristol Arms where the children enjoyed a treasure trail, with Evie and Jack Giddings winning first price, an Easter egg.

There was even more chocolate to be won during the fun family quiz, won by the Errrs? a mix of new Shotley residents and visitors from Essex.

A whole hog roast cooked by landlord Shane Rolin then proved a very popular climax to the afternoon.

Shotley Open Spaces secured Suffolk's fist Walkers Are Welcome accreditation one year ago, and local businesses, such as the Shipwreck bar and B&B, the Loft, The Shotley Rose and the Bristol, have all benefitted from the extra visitors.

Various walking routes are available, including the Arthur Ransome trail from Shotley to Pin Mill, where scenes from the book 'We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea' can be found along the way.

 "It has been a fabulous journey and the time has flown by," said SOS chairman Gary Richens. "Gaining Walkers Are Welcome accreditation has already proved a hugely positive thing for Shotley, and the wider peninsula.

"You can see by the amount of walkers, and dogs. enjoying this event even on a bit of a grey day.

"It is wonderful to see so many children enjoying themselves with their families, getting exercise and fresh air and then fabulous hospitality at the Bristol."

Some of the walking routes, with qualified guides, are part of this year's Suffolk Walking Festival and the popular health walks will continue through the year.

Egg-cited Children Help Raise Hundreds For Rose Good Causes

Friday, March 30, 15.00

More than 100 youngsters enjoyed an Easter hunt eggtravaganza on the field behind the Shotley Rose today and raised £300 for good  causes.

The popular annual event, sponsored by Sarah (pictured below with helper Oscar) and Jamie at the Rose, was superbly supported by parents and children from the village as they wrapped up warm to find numbered golf balls, which in turn earned them a chocolate Easter egg.

Even the Easter Bunny turned up, with sister wearing a very fetching Easter bonnet, and laughter and squeals of delight rang out on the football pitch and beyond.

The money raised will go towards a blood cancer charity, donations can also be made to the box on the main bar, and Tiffers the Homeless Bus project.

 There was no rest for the staff at the Rose on Good Friday as they served up a traditional feast of fish for their fortnightly Over 60s' lunch, the full menu was also be available to all customers.

Keeping with the Easter theme, will see hot cross buns served up on Sunday, when roast pork is on the menu.

Meanwhile, the HMS Ganges Museum opens door the new season and will remain open all weekend, including Easter Monday, between 11am - 5pm, with ex-Ganges boys bound to pop into the Rose to reminisce.

Police Appeal After Theft At Shotley Lodge

Thursday, March 29, 07.00

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after thieves struck at Shotley Lodge. 

The development, opposite the Admiralty pier, Shotley, which is still under construction, (artists image right) has been hit by intruders recently.

A small group of men took Led lights, tripods and are understood to have discharged a fire extinguisher last weekend.

CCTV is understood to have caught images of the people involved and a vehicle suspected to have been used in the incident.

However, police would like help in gathering more evidence.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: " We can confirm that an incident of burglary at Shotley Marina at Shotley Gate in Ipswich. It took place at some point between Saturday 24 March and Monday 26 March at 6am.

"An LED light and three or four tripod lights were stolen.

"No arrests have been made at this stage.

"Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or has knowledge of the burglary should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/16667/18 or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

More stories

Ganges Museum Celebrates Armistice and U-Boat Surrender

Tuesday, March 27, 06.00

HMS Ganges Museum opens its doors for the new season this Friday with a new display dedicated to the ending of World War One and the U-boat surrender 100 years ago this year. 

The museum traditionally opens its doors to the public after a winter sprucing up inside, and putting together new exhibits.

A special 1918 commemorative display was put together by long -time volunteer Sheila Wilson, which has real time articles and photos of how the Armistice affected the Royal Navy Training Establishment in Shotley Gate.

 There is also a piece about the German’s U-boat fleet’s surrender, with 177 submarines moored along the backs of the River Stour, including Admiralty Pier, Shotley.

Based at Shotley marina, the museum pays tribute to the 160,000 boys that trained at the base since it moved ashore in 1905. Admiralty pier, was built five years later and in its hey-day was crammed with cutters and whalers used for training.

All the items on display have been donated or gifted to the museum by former Ganges boys, or their relatives, while some exhibits originated in Ganges itself.

The original HMS Ganges ship’s figurehead has been lovingly restored and takes pride of place, while the story of Victoria Cross winners, along with replica medals are displayed.

Sheila was recently presented with a special award by the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr Geoffrey Probert, for her 10 years dedicated service, which includes a two-hour journey to get to the museum from her Somersham home, each Wednesday.  

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.

Cheers Shotley!

Saturday, March 24, 07.00

A gang of contractors have taken the unusual step of thanking the people of Shotley for the warm reception they have received while working on digging trenches through the village. 

The crew working for McNicholas on behalf of UK Power Networks to complete a £30million project to lay power cables under the rivers Orwell and Stour have been digging up the road from Church Walk Shotley, down the B1456, along Kitchener Way and into Lloyd Road for the hole to be drilled at Whinney Queach for the past six months.

The work was needed as part of the infrastructure required for a predicted 450,000 new customers in Suffolk and Essex, but Shotley residents will be relived the disruption is over.

However, despite the inconvenience, especially when the traffic lights did not work properly, the village has taken the cheery workers to their hearts for the most part and it has been appreciated.

Foreman Will, (pictured with fellow worker Noel) said: “The people here in Shotley have been fantastic with us.

“They have stopped to say hello and thank us for the work we have done, with some even asking for an email address so they can tell our bosses how happy they have been, despite the unavoidable inconvenience we have caused.

“We have loved staying here. Sarah, Donna, Jamie and 2B, at our second home, the Rose have been absolutely brilliant to us, as have all the locals

“They are so friendly, it has been like being back in Ireland and being part of our community there.”

The gang are today working on their next project in Essex for Murphy’s, but are determined to maintain their peninsula connection.

“We may have finished but we plan to make Shotley our base while we work on our next project in Essex,” said Will.

“All we can say is cheers Shotley, you have been brilliant.”

The McNicholas side of the project has been overseen by Shotley resident Kevin Curl, who the contractors have praised for being a good boss and for keeping residents informed as much as possible via social media.

 While McNicholas have finished their part of the project, Dutch contractors are today setting off from the Harwich side to bore their way through and release a drill trapped on the Shotley side.

That could take a week or so, and then a clean-up operation will take place.

 Hydro Clean have used specialist equipment, and impressive looking vehicles, to clear the ducts below Stourside.

UKPN has pledged close to £10,000 to ensure Whinney Queach is cleared and new play equipment installed there.

Anyone interested in joining a committee dedicated to ensuring the best, and most desired play equipment is installed, should contact parish councilor Gary Richens at or editorial@shotleypenisualnewsand

Police Appeal After Young Girl Approached

Suffolk police today asked for any witnesses to come forward after teenage girl was approached by a stranger on Sunday. 

The young girl was walking near Ganges Road in Shotley between 3.10pm and 3.15pm on March 18, when an unknown man tried to engage her in conversation.

She rebuffed his advances and he left her alone.

The man was driving a bright red hatchback, was wearing dark clothing, including  a short-sleeved top. 

A police spokesperson said: "The man was descried as aged between 20-30, with short brown hair, shaved at the sides.

"If anyone saw anything or has any information please contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference number 37/151130/18."

Auction Fundraising Success

Sunday, March 18, 13,00

Bargains galore went under the hammer at the increasingly popular Shotley Auction. 

Despite a light dusting of snow, more than £550 was raised for the Village Hall funds, with nearly 50 people watching on as Melanie Connell and Carol Bloomfield kept the bidding brisk, with Michael Connell acting as the model displaying goods.

A set of silver spoons fetched the price best, going, going gone at £45, with many other lots averaging between £20 and £30.

A number of unique and fascinating items, including some wonderfully ornate and original teapots, a Clarice Cliff cup and saucer, in with a couple of Wedgewood trinkets, a ceramic 1924 Wembley souvenir didn't make the reserve on this occasion, a selection of Coalport and some Royal Doulton.

 Jewellery, bikes, pictures toys and telescopes, along with a digital video camera, golf clubs and a selection of Royal navy-themed books put in by HMS Ganges Museum went for £12.

Held to help raise funds to keep the village hall running, and keep the cost of hiring down, the auction had a 332 lots going under the hammer.

The next auction is due to take place on Saturday, September 15, with viewing the day before and lots taken on the Thursday, although organiser Jim Catling will accepts items from now.

Village Hall Committee member and parish councillor Mr Catling praised all the volunteers that turns out to help before, during and after, including scout leaders Jane and Steve Leach and Giles White, and their troop of cubs, beavers, guides and scouts.

"We had about 15 adult volunteers and the young scouts were excellent too, and I would like to thank everyone who helped," said Mr Carling. "Without them, and all the people who turned up to bid or just support us, it would not be the success it has become.

"People are already asking when the next one will be, so we can tell them it is September 15, and if people want to start putting in lots now, then I will take them."

Jim can be contacted on 788499.

Councillors Want More Time Before Commenting On Glamping Site

Friday, March 16, 23.30

Plans to open a glamping site, and build a shower block and café, near the Commonwealth war Graves at Shotley Church, are to be further scrutinised by the parish council before it sends its comments to Babergh’s planning department. 

Although the parish council cannot decide on whether planning permission is granted or not, it does as a statutory consultee, have the right to say if the agree with the plans or not. 

The matter was discussed at last night’s parish council meeting and despite the chairman Barrie Powell’s attempt to have it rubber stamped, councilors chose to wait until they had all the details. Some councilors said they would visit the site first.

Six glamping pods, with events’ hosting building including a shower block, toilets and storage space along with 10 car park spaces, on land adjacent to Frogs Alley in the old part of Shotley.

If granted, the outbuilding would be made of aluminium in a black graphite colour, while outside lighting at the new car park and shower block with toilets, will also be added.

The applicant, Mr Craig Mills and landowner Miss Charlotte Davitt want permission for the glamping and events location to be open 24 hours a day, all year round.

 Access to the 8,627 square metre glamping site would be down a single track along Frogs Alley, and is part of a public rights of way footpath leading from the church to the Orwell.

The vineyard is in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, over-looking the river Orwell and is also in a conservation area, and is part of a Site of Scientific Interest.

An area has already been cleared at the vineyard, which is yards from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s memorial to sailors that lost their lives in the Second World War, and is also close to the CWGC’s cemetery dedicated to former Ganges boys, the Submariners’ memorial, and graves of German and British sailors that were lost in action during World War One.

Members of the public can also have their say on the planned development.

The application DC/18/00873 can be found on the Babergh planning applications page here.

Eclectic Mix Of Lots At Auction

Friday, March 16, 11.30am

Judging by what is already on display, the rearranged Shotley Auction promises to be one of the most interesting ever to be held at the  village hall.

A number of unique and fascinating items are being viewed today (Friday) with the actual auction starting tomorrow at 9.30am. The originnal auction at the beginning of the month had to be called off due to the recent heavy snow, but this one promises to be even bigger and better                

Items include some wonderfully ornate and original teapots, Clarice Cliff cup and saucer, in with a couple of Wedgewood trinkets, a ceramic 1924 Wembley souvenir, a selection of Coalport and some Royal Doulton.

Jewellery, bikes, pictures toys and telescopes, along with a digital video camera, golf clubs and a selection of Royal navy-themed books put in by HMS Ganges Museum.

Held to help raise funds to keep the village hall running, and keep the cost of hiring down, the auction has a 332 lots going under the hammer.

There is free car parking, lovely home-made refreshments and happy, smiley faces from the Village Hall Committee and volunteers, looking to make the morning success.

PC Chair Not So PC

March 15, 23.00

Shotley Parish Council chairman Barrie Powell this eveningmade a quick apology after making an inappropriate off the cuff comment. 

The council were discussing a fund-raising plea by Shotley resident Emily Pugh who is looking to complete a midwifery training project in Tanzania.

When it was explained to Mr Powell what Emily was doing and why, he quipped:  "At least she will get plenty of practise there (Tanzania)." 

When fellow councillors pointed out his comments were not politically correct he quickly apologised and the agenda was moved on.

Emily Pugh last night said: "I'm sure it was meant as a harmless quip and I thank everyone for their support."

Emily's updated Just Giving page shows the fabulous backing the Anglian Ruskin midwife student has already garnered.

A recent quiz at the Shotley Rose boosted funds and she is just £300 short of her £1,600 target after working hard to raise much of the money needed.

Emily is planning to expand he experience by using her second year placement working in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania working in a hospital, and then a small village providing healthcare and living with an African family. 

If you would like to donate and help Emily reach her target please visit her Just Giving page and help get this wonderful young lady who will then help hundreds of young mums.

Ganges Museum Gearing Up For Easter Opening

Sunday, March 11, 09.00

Volunteers mustered at HMS Ganges Museum for a training day ahead of the Good Friday season opener.

Sessions of security, archiving, paperwork, health and safety, were among the issues covered, with many experienced volunteers using the morning as a refresher. led by secretary June Lawford-Randall, Roger Cushing, Dave Andrews, Phil Coe and Roger Jones. 

The group, made up of ex-Ganges boys, former RAF personnel and civilians interested in the museum, took part and will act as openers and guides throughout the season.

Nearly 4,500 people, including nearly 500 children visited the museum last year to learn about the training undertaken by boys as young as 15 at the Royal Navy Training Establishment at Shotley Gate. Between 1905 and 1976 more than 160,000 youngsters trained at the base before joining the fleet.

Visitors this year have an extra option of staying above the museum in the Shipwreck Loft, a boutique bed & breakfast, which is also ideal for trips on the ferry to Harwich and Felixstowe, or as using as a base to explore the rest of the peninsula.

Many ex Boys also take the opportunity of visiting the Shotley Rose and Bristol Arms, which were used by instructors and civilian staff during the base's heyday.

Chairman Derek Davis made  point of thanking the volunteers and the vital work they do in keeping the museum open and ensuring the attraction at Shotley marina is one of the most popular tourism destinations in south Suffolk..

Last year volunteers worked for 4,862 hours, either during opening times, which are from 11am to 5pm Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holidays from Good Friday until the end of October.

Private visits for groups outside these hours can be arranged. See HMS Ganges Museum website for details.

Time Running Out For Mothering Sunday Lunch Bookings

If you like living close to the edge and have either forgotten it is Mother's Day tomorrow then you need to get on the phone quick. 

Our three local pubs are still taking bookings, although places are scarce and you may have to be flexible about the times.

Sarah and Jamie at the Rose (787237) are open all day today to take bookings.

Shane at the Bristol Arms is offering a special Mother's day menu (pictured) call 787200 now.

While Alex and Janey at the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant have limited availability, but it is stillworth a call on 7888865.

Peninsula Pair Complete Jerusalem Marathon 

Friday, March 9, 12.15pm

Two peninsula runners have today completed the Jerusalem marathon, in little more than four hours.

Tony Hubbard from Shotley and Matthew Holmes from Chelmondiston (pictured in pink shirts) were among 35,000 runners taking part the race in Israel.

Tony ran the 26.3 mile (42.2km) race in a just over four hours, while Matthew did it in four hours 11minutes, with the winner, Kenyan Kipkgey Shadrack finishing in 2:21.26.

The marathon started at Israeli parliament building the Knesset and the route took Tony and Matt past the Mahane Yehuda market, Mount Scopus, the Old City, David’s Tower, and the Haas Promenade.

Guest of honour for the race was Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia.

Gebrselassie holds two Olympic gold medals in 10,000-meter running and four world titles for that same distance, and he was the first in the world to break the 2:04 time for the marathon run.

More than 35,000 runners, including some 4,000 from 72 different countries, joined the Jerusalem Marathon the largest-ever number to take part in the annual race.

Runners took part in six courses, including the full marathon (42.2 km), half-marathon (21.1 km), 10 km, 5 km, family race (1.7 km), and community race (800 meters) for people with special needs.

Mum Distraught After Foul Mouth Tirade By Delivery Driver

Wednesday, March 7, 06.00

A delivery driver faces the sack after allegedly telling a new mother ‘I hope you and your f***ing baby die!’.

Pharmaceutical supply company AAH are investigating the incident which took place during the heavy snowfall last week.

A mum and dad taking their two-day old baby home from hospital were rescued after becoming stranded in the snow but during the recovery a man in the white AAH van, who was on his mobile phone, refused to move to make the manouvre easier.

Dad Ollie Bartram explained they had a new baby on board but the van driver became abusive and during the rant he shouted: “I hope you and your f***ing baby die.”

Young mum Kirby Pridmore was distraught and was left frightened and shaken by the event as they struggled to free the car.

Kirby said: “We were delighted our knight in shining armour stopped to help us but could not believe the moron on his phone was so rude.

“He shouted and swore at us and what he said left me almost hysterical. I could not believe it.

“I really hope the van driver is punished for what he did.”

Rescuer Kevin Pitcher managed to free the car in his red Defender Range Rover and tow the couple and baby Elsie Rae home to Shotley  Gate.

Mr Pitcher said: “I was in my vehicle but heard what was said. I wanted to get out and push him into the snow but we were more focused on getting the baby home and in the warm.”

A spokesman for AAH’s parent company Celesio said: “Our transport team are investigating the incident.

“We have contacted the family and will follow up further.”

If the allegations are proven and the matter is judged to be gross misconduct, then it is likely the driver will be sacked.

Read: 'Absolute Hero' helps Stranded New Born Baby Get Home

Glamping Site Planned At Frogs Alley

Friday, March 2, 07.00

Developers want to build a modern-day glamping site on a vineyard, close to the Commonwealth War Graves at Shotley Church.

A planning application has been made to Babergh Distrct Council for six glamping pods, with events’ hosting building including a   shower block, toilets and storage space along with 10 car park spaces, on land adjacent to Frogs Alley in the old part of Shotley.

If granted, the outbuilding would be made of aluminium in a black graphite colour, while outside lighting at the new car park and shower block with toilets, will also be added.

The applicant, Mr Craig Mills and landowner Miss Charlotte Davitt want the glamping site to be open 24 hours a day, all year round.

Access to the 8,627 square metre glamping site would be down a single track along Frogs Alley, and is part of a public rights of way footpath leading from the church to the Orwell.

The vineyard is in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, over-looking the river Orwell and is also in a conservation area, and is part of a Site of Scientific Interest.

An area has already been cleared at the vineyard, which is yards from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s memorial to sailors that lost their lives in the Second World War, and is also close to the CWGC’s cemetery dedicated to former Ganges boys, the Submariners’ memorial, and graves of German and British sailors that were lost in action during World War One.

The application DC/18/00873 can be found on the Babergh planning applications page.

Free Delivery Offer From Shotley Stores

Shotley Stores are offering free delivery to customers struggling to get to the shops due to the icy conditions. 

Owner Manish Patel made the offer as the Beast from the East hit the Shotley Peninsula with a vengeance

Staff member Vicky Sadler posted the offer on social media and was immediately offered lots of help in making deliveries from other customers, in order to help the elderly during this cold snap.

Mrs Sadler said: “Manish and staff at shotley stores would like to offer help to those who are elderly or vulnerable and are unable to get out to get urgent supplies.

“If you need anything delivered yourself or you know someone who isn't able to get out please contact me through Facebook or call Shotley stores on 787281 and we will do our best to help through this icy cold snap.”

The Shotley Post Office and Premier Store was extended last year with Manish and his family offering an even wider range of goods.

Anger As Monthly Bus Pass Scrapped and Students Stranded

Wednesday, February 28, 06.00

Passengers using public transport into Ipswich will have to pay a staggering extra £28 per month after Ipswich Buses scrapped the 28-day Shotley Rover pass.

An adult, or student, wanting to use the service more than 10 times a week, will now have to £93.60, compared to the £65 they used to pay.

Peninsula passenger Amy West, who tried to discuss the issue with Ipswich Buses, was less than impressed.

Mrs West said: “I feel let down by Ipswich Buses as I pay for a service, which isn't the most reliable and I feel they have treated their loyal customers badly by stopping the monthly pass.

“They also are very rude when you do ask them questions in the office, which makes you feel upset and dissatisfied. 

“It makes me wish another bus company would take on the route as they seem very disinterested in maintaining and keeping this route going.

“Also, the pass we did have was only valid Monday to Saturday so we lost four days on our pass, which we could not use before it was withdrawn but had already been paid for.”

Babergh district councillor Alastair McCraw, who regularly uses the 92 service said: “'If you want people to use your buses, and pay, give them reason to. A reasonable increase is one thing, but scrapping such an obviously useful system doesn't make sense.”

Ipswich Buses were given an opportunity to respond but have declined to comment so far.

Anyone interested in car sharing can contact us at and we will try and put people together.

* In a separate development, Ipswich Buses also failed to pick children up from Holbrook school last night, when the 98 servce failed to stop at the academy. Parent had to pick up stranded children and the school used its mini0bus to ensure other children got home.

The bus company was also critisised earlier this month for not taking any action, or making comment, when a young girl was allegedly abused on one of their buses, which police have investigated and taken action.  

Your Chance To Vote For Suffolk

Peninsula people who love to promote the area, have less than a week left to vote for Suffolk, in arguably the nation’s most prestigious tourism contest.

Suffolk is a finalist in BBC Countryfile magazine Holiday Destination of the Yea 2018, with the Shotley peninsula, so often overlooked in the past, becoming an ever-increasing popular destination,

Suffolk is up against Speyside in Scotland, the Isle of Wight, across from Portsmouth in Hampshire, the Forest of Bowland and the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales.

Keen Shotley walker and Babergh and Mid-Suffolk Tourism officer Annette Ellis, said: “It occurred to me how many of wonderful aspects of Suffolk we enjoy right here on the stunning Shotley Peninsula ~ with the RSPB Reserve on the banks of the River Stour, (and incredible birdlife and nature easily accessed in many other areas of the Peninsula too, such as at Alton Water), beautiful villages too numerous to name, many of which boast fabulous traditional pubs and yes, honesty boxes for not just fruit but vegetables, plants and produce too.

“Sometimes it can be easy to take such farmland scenery which we pass regularly for granted, then we perhaps see it blanketed in snow, bathed in early morning or late evening pale sunlight, and we're smitten again.

“It would be incredible for Suffolk to win this award, and receive the further recognition it so richly deserves.

“Voting will only take you a couple of minutes, and yes, we're definitely friendly and welcoming, so I reckon we'd be happy to share our little piece of heaven on earth with a few more visitors.”

 With Alton Water, the Freston Tower, HMS Ganges Museum, Tattingstone Wonder (pictured right) Anne Boleyn, the Arthur Ransome Trail, Shotley marina and the harbour ferry, the peninsula is a haven for visitors

Shotley was last year recognised as a Walkers Are Welcome destination, the first in Suffolk, now joined by Clare and Eye, and sailing on the rivers Stour and Orwell attract visitors from around the world.

A number of bed & breakfast venues have grown, with the Shipwreck Loft the latest to open, and traditional pubs such as the Bristol Arms, Shotley Rose, Brantham Bull and Wheatsheaf are popular along with the Butt at Pin Mill.

The poll finishes at midnight on Monday, March 5, so cast your vote for Suffolk on the link here…

Ganges Appeal Over Mystery Film Reels

Nearly two dozen mysterious old style film reels have been discovered at HMS Ganges Museum.  

Content of the reels, which are in various sizes, are unknown and museum bosses are appealing for anyone to help them find out what is on the old cine tapes.

While some are labelled much of the writing has been erased, or is only partially legible. (two of the reels collection pictured right)

Archivists discovered the reels at the museum, housed at Shotley marina, in the shadow of the former site of the Royal Naval Training Establishment HMS Ganges.

The Stour and Orwell Society has offered to help fund the conversion of the tapes to modern day technology, either in the form of a DVD or online access, through funding granted last year as part of   Lottery Heritage Fund grant obtained by Babergh Distict Council.

The list of reels, including 16mm, ranging at least as far back as 1931, include titles The King's Navy, Aden/Suez Canal, Famous Ships, Mine Watching Afloat, Anchor Work and boats and boat work.

HMS Ganges chairman Derek Davis said: "This is an exciting find, but also very frustrating as we would love to know what is actually on the reels.

"The discovery could have  a wider significance than just HMS Ganges, it is likely they will offer a snapshot of the history of the Royal Navy and  bygone time of the Shotley peninsula, and indeed Great Britain."

Anyone with the technical knowhow that can help with converting the film reels is asked to contact Mr Davis by email at

Financial Help During Cold Weather Snap

Monday, February 26, 12.15

Scores of families on the Shotley peninsula will be given an extra £25 a week after the Government triggered their Cold Weather  Payment for this area.

The payments, for people on certain benefits come into effect when average temperatures drop, or are forecast to drop, to zero degrees Celsius or below.

With the so-called Beast from the East moving in, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge today confirmed those payments will be paid, starting from February 23, initially for one week.

People in postcode area IP9 and CO11 are among those that will be paid, with payments made automatically with 14 days.

With Universal Credit being rolled out in this area shortly, others who will get the winter weather payment are those who are on pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, and employment and support allowance

The winter weather allowance is different, and separate, to winter fuel allowance.

Council Chairman Apologises

Friday, February 23, 23.00

Parish council chairman Barrie Powell has apologised over the heavy-handed way work was carried out in cutting back a hedge on  the edge of the Heritage Wood.

Although there is no legal requirement to carry out such work, the parish council claimed it acted on advice by Suffolk Fire Service to provide a fire break on land between Estuary Road and Stourside,

However, the over enthusiastic approach meant the Payback Community team cut far more down than necessary while under the supervision of Cllr Powell. (pictured right)

Responding to a request by parishioner Melanie Connell to be less heavy-handed in the future, Cllr Powell admitted: “I do apologise that the cutting went further back than required.

“I was supervising and instructed the team to cut a straight line along a certain area but I accept that did not happen.

“It is at least a metre or so deeper than would have been ideal, but I’m sure it will again look lovely in a short time.” 

Rubbish collected from the hedgerow was left on the end of a path, and is due to be disposed of on Saturday morning.

Accusations that Cllr Gary Richens had annexed part of parish council land were shown to be unfounded, with Cllr Powell confirming he knew the previous owner had worked on maintaining the hedge, which Cllr Richens had continued with.

Cllr Robbie Green suggested that the parish council should consider cutting a path in the same area next to residential houses and have a picnic area built on the cliff edge, but he did not receive much support.

Progress In Moving Protection Plan On

Supporters of carrying on with Phase Three of coastal erosion work along Shotley Cliffs were feeling more positive after the parish council seemed to soften their attitude towards the work being done.

Another positive was a quote for remedial work needed to provide a relatively short term fix was as little as £5,000 compared to the  £55k suggested by the parish council.

Shotley Parish Council had previously voted in closed meeting not to lead with Phase Three of the project, and then barred Cllr Gary Richens, who had played an important role in Phases One and Two, from taking part in discussions.

However, Cllr Richard Wrinch (pictured right), who had been the chairman when the original licence to carry out all three phases issued by the Marine Management Organisation, is keen a way forward should be found.

“Something needs to be done,” said Cllr Wrinch. “However, a legal issue needs to be addressed first as the Shotley Parish Council cannot lead it - at the moment. Once that is resolved things may change.

“It will need to be a combined effort with statutory bodies such as Babergh District Council, Suffolk County Council, the RSPB and other groups involved.

“It can work, it worked before in Phases One and Two, with a lot of help from Gary Richens.

“If the parish council did agree to lead, then there would need to be a clear parish mandate, we are one village.

“We must behave like adults and be as one body.”

A meeting between interested parties, including the statitiry bodies that have already signe dup to the MMO licence, whih runs until 2019, has been organised by Suffolk County Council's flood and coastal protection policy manager manager Jane Burch, following a public meeting held earlier in February, for next month, with the outcome being made public quickly afterwards.

Mrs Burch had a statement read out at the beginning of the public meeting on February 7, with nearly 100 villagers attending, and felt the need to bring all the parties together was vital following the depth of feeling.

Cllr Wrinch added: "The public meeting held at the Bristol Arms was very helpful and I’m sure the March meeting will do the same.”

Concerns that the meeting in March was not open to the public were put by Cllr Robbie Green and the chair but they were assured minutes would be taken and reports by the county council and Babergh district councillors would be made available.

Although Cllr Wrinch’s comments were clearly well received, the only negative was aired by parish clerk Dina Bedwell.

She said: “Sorry to put a dampener on this but it is not straightforward.

“There were issues with Phases One and Two. There were breaches which may mean we will come under greater scrutiny in the next phase.”

Cllr Richens advised members that the MMO licence already in place, had been signed up by all the statutory bodies involved and was in place until 2019. It was also pointed out that external funding would pay for the work required.

Despite quotes acquired by the parish council ranging between £29,000 and £55,000 Cllr Wrinch has secured a quote, albeit it a ‘sticking plaster’ approach last around 20 years, could only cost ‘sub £5,000’.

SCANN Supporting Erosion Prevention Plan

A Facebook page has been set up by Shotley locals keen to see the third phase of the villages’ coastal protection scheme carried out.

Long term resident, and former parish councilor Melanie Connell has created Shotley Cliffs Action Needed Now, SCANN, in order to keep people informed about events regarding the coastal erosion programme and present the facts wherever possible. 

Mrs Connell informed Shotley Parish Council last night about the website and invited them to post information as often as possible.

The group, who Mrs Connell insisted was not a protest group, but rather just a bunch of people looking to help as much as possible, plan to hold fundraising events such as quizzes and a supper in the beat future.

One Shotley resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, has already offered to fund 10 gabions (wire cages filled with rocks) to help the project, while other businesses have also offered support.

The SCANN group be found on Facebook and all are invited to join.

New Council Houses Set To Be Built

Friday, February 23, 06.30

Up to eight new council houses are to be built in place of the vacant, crumbling buildings in Queensland.

Three prefabricated, single-storey houses, will be demolished to make way for either seven or eight brand new social housing homes in Shotley.

The plot which is currently occupied by numbers one and three, could be replaced with five new homes, while the site at number 16 could become either two or three new homes.

The houses have become available over the past two years and the council has assessed the houses as unviable to be repaired, due to their age and type of material used when built originally as emergency stop gap, just after World War Two.  

However, Babergh District Council is keen to utilise the space and appreciates there is a need for social housing throughout the peninsula.

Initial designs are being considered and will have to go through the full planning process, including being presented in front of the planning committee and  the scheme will not be passed under delegated powers, as the sites are council owned.

Neighbours and any other interested parties, will be allowed to comment, either for or against the scheme, when officially applied for.

District Councillor Derek Davis said: “This has been a long process and something I have pushed for given the amount of interest expressed to me by residents.

"There is still a lot more to do but this will bring much-needed social homes. 

“I have to praise the patience of Shotley people who have, or know of, family and friends that are desperate this sort of housing.

“I share their frustration but I’m delighted officers at Babergh have got this far, due to their hard work and diligence, despite what is clearly a slow process.”

New School Head in Academy Talks

Thursday, February 22, 06.00

Alun Davies, the new interim head teacher at Shotley Community Primary School has assured parents everything will be done to improve standards, following a recent Inadequate rating.

Mr Davies, who was previously the head teacher of Queensway Primary School in Yeadon, near Leeds, confirmed Shotley Community Primary School was likely to be moved to Academy status.

No timescale, or decision on which Trust the school would come under, has been made but the Department of Education would choose the academy as the school had slipped way below expected standards.

Mr Davies was brought in at the beginning of February to provide leadership and support the teachers in order to improve methods of teaching, learning and assessment.

Although Ofsted inspectors visited the school in early November, education officers at Suffolk County Council has already identified problems at the school, due to head teacher Melanie Newman’s prolonged absence and a lack of experience and expertise among the school governors.

Therefore, an Interim Executive Board of governors will be appointed, with Maureen Eade currently the chair, and that board will stay in place until the school becomes an Academy.

Mr Davies, the interim head, recently met with parents and asked them for support. He said: “Stick with us. The staff are very passionate about improving education for children and moving the school forward.

“Give support to teachers back the teachers, give us time and have belief.”  

Although the Ofsted report was scathing in some aspects of the school’s mistakes, it also highlighted positive areas, which were rated as Good.

Although there have been grumblings, and accusations made about the school’s safeguarding policy, that was not borne out in the Ofsted report.

Safeguarding procedures were judged to be effective with the report highlighting how well staff at the school supported pupils and families who need protection, and keep careful records of what has been done.

Shotley’s early year provision was also rated as Good, and the report noted more children achieved a good level of development than the national average.

Many parents have backed the school, and the teachers. One mum said: “I know there have been issues but my two (children) love it here and I think they are getting a good education. The teachers are superb, I don’t know how they do it.

“I’m not sure about the school becoming an Academy, we need to find out more about that. Other parents I speak too have mixed feelings.”

Minutes of the meeting with parents can be found on the school website.

SPNF, would like to apologise for any confusion cause by incorrectly spelling Mr Davies’ name in a previous report and identifying the wrong interim head. 

Police Act After Bus Girl Left Distressed 

Wednesday, February 21. 15.00

Police have spoken to a Shotley man after a young girl was left distressed following an incident on the 97 bus from Ipswich. 

The man, who lives on The Street, Shotley, is alleged to have made a number of inappropriate comments to the youngster during the journey on an Ipswich Buses vehicle.

One lady tried to intervene but comments continued to be made and police were contacted by parents when the girl got to her Shotley home.

The person involved, who was travelling with another male passenger, was identified after a description was released on social media, and police have spoken to him about the incident, although no arrest was made.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesperson said: "We were called on Saturday 17 February at 5:35pm following an incident on a bus travelling between Ipswich and Shotley, when a male passenger is alleged to have spoken to a female passenger in an inappropriate manner.

"Officers later attended the male passenger's home and offered him words of advice."

SPNF know the name of the man involved, who is understood to have mental health issues, but have chosen not to name him at this time.

The driver did not report the incident and Ipswich Buses have so far declined to respond to a request to comment.

To report an incident call Suffolk police on 101 or alternatively, call 999 in an emergency, or if you think a crime is in progress. If you prefer to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You can also report something online by following the link:

New Explorer Guide Launched

Wednesday, February 21, 07.30

A popular walking guide for the Shotley peninsula has been reissued at a launch at the Bristol Arms. 

Suffolk Coast & Heath's AONB have added more walks to the guide, the first in its series, to be reprinted and distributed.

The Shotley Walk Explorer Guide has included the Arthur Ransome Trail, set up by Shotley Open Spaces as part of the 'We Didn't Mean to go to Sea' celebrations last year.

There are also walks highlighting The Two Rivers Walk, Farm and Rivers Walk, and the Shotley Point Stroll.

A health walk, as part of this year's Suffolk Walking Festival followed the launch at the Bristol Arms, with 18 people fortified by sausage sandwiches and four dogs set off on the two and a half mile walk.

Speaking at the launch of the guide Suffolk Coastal & Heaths' AONB chairman David Wood said: "This is the first time we have revised our guides and I want to thank all those who have supported us financially.

"There is always something special about the AONB here in Shotley where the views and vistas are wonderful, even in not so great weather like this.

"Shotley has become quite a tourist destination in the past couple of years and I always say this Area Of Natural Beauty by the river Stour is where it all starts.

"All around Suffolk there are areas of tranquility, then areas of bustling activity - we really have it all."

Shotley was the first area in Suffolk to be accredited as a Walkers Are Welcome village and an increase in numbers has already benefitted tourism in the area.

The newly opened Shipwreck Loft has added to the bed & breakfast option, with Hill Farm and Orwell View Barns a long term supporter of the guide.

Shotley Open Spaces donated £450 towards the cost of the guide, with Shotley Marina, Orwell View Barns and the Parish Council contributing £150.

SOS chairman Gary Richens said: "We are delighted to support the walks around Shotley and we are slowly growing our volunteer  base to help people enjoy these walks.

"Together we are achieving good things with the support of the AONB, and as part of the Suffolk Walking Festival and the first Walkers are Welcome we look forward to welcoming many more people, from near and far.

"This is as much about people that live here, as visitors,  enjoying the natural beauty we have on our doorstep." 

District councillor Derek Davis, who is a Babergh representative on the Suffolk Coast & Heaths joint advisory committee, said: "It is wonderful to see so many bodies pulling together for the benefit of Shotley and the surrounding villages, which are all part of the AONB.

"The AONB brings many positive aspects to this, and other areas." 

Commercial Units Likely On Shotley Pier  

Contracts have been exchanged on Shotley pier, opposite the Bristol Arms. 

The pier, understood to have cost in the region of £126,000, is now owned by Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society, with the money raised by selling shares matched by the Co-op.

It is anticipated commercial units will be built on the shore end of the pier and businesses will among those asked to fund repairs, offsetting their investment against their tax liabilities.

The Shotley pier, is in close proximity to Admiralty pier,  Shotley, (pictured)which was used by boys training at HMS Ganges from the time it was built in 1910.

Twelve new homes are being built next to the pier, and another 12 apartments are close to completion opposite.

Piling work has already been completed at Admiralty pier, Shotley, in preparation for building work.

Heavy-Handed Council Slammed

Shotley parish council has been criticised for the heavy-handed way they hacked down scrubland teeming with wildlife. 

Concerns have also been raised as to why the work was carried out, just days before the nesting season, in the first place.

Woodland near an entrance to Heritage Wood, was scythed back to almost eight metres in some parts, and a pile of rubbish was left lying loose at the edge of the area worked on.

Ray Millan, who lives closest to the ravaged scrub, was surprised the parish council did not inform or consult residents.

“I was not consulted,” said Mr Millan. “The first I knew about was when I went for a paper and saw the workmen cutting it back when I got back home.

“The parish council might want to consider how they are treating its residents.”

A raft of comments was made on social media with one lady, Rachel Harper posting: “We live opposite and it was cleared yesterday (Sunday) by community payback.

There is all sorts of wildlife in there, including deer and a huge amount of nests. They have also left a pile of rubbish which will cause a hazard if not cleared.

As very local we were not consulted at all.

Although fire crews suggested to the parish council that fire breaks may be a good idea, following a small fire last summer, there is no legislation in place requiring owners of woodland to put distance between trees and houses.

Henry Landis, Suffolk Fire Service Inspecting Officer for protection (fire safety), said: “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.”

Natural England and experts from the RSPB suggested that where a fire break is required for safety reasons, it should be no more than four metres.

Shotley Open Spaces made clear they had nothing to do with the work carried out by the community payback team, under the supervision of Shotley Parish Council chairman Barrie Powell

Geraint Pugh, secretary of SOS, said: “Advice from experts is that low level undergrowth should be retained to deter dogs from disturbing nesting songbirds.

“This is reckless and extremely bad practice for a Council to fail to heed good advice and to damage valuable and scarce wildlife habitat so close to nesting season.”

Mr Powell has been given the opportunity to comment on behalf of the parish council but so far has failed to respond.

Health Walk Invite

The latest in a series of health walks is open to all tomorrow (Tuesday February 20) starting from the Bristol Arms at 11am.

It's a gentle stroll for an hour or so around Shotley Gate - an easy stroll for those who would like to take a little gentle exercise.

As a special treat, if you get to the Bristol Arms at 10.15am there is a tea or coffee waiting for you while Shotley Open Spaces and Suffolk Coastal Heaths AONB, publicise the new Shotley Explorer Guide.

Four legged friends welcome too and the group looks forward to meeting regulars and new faces.

Troubleshooter Called Into School

Monday, February 18. 15.00

An interim head teacher has been placed in charge of Shotley school as it looks to a brighter future. 

Alun Davies has been parachuted in from Yorkshire to help the community primary school improve after being rated Inadequate in the latest Ofsted report.

Although the school was marked down for failings by its then board of governors and senior staff, Ofsted also highlighted many positive aspects of the school.

A spokesperson for Shotley Community Primary School today said: "Whilst we acknowledge and accept the findings of the Ofsted report, we were very disappointed with the grading. 

"We are absolutely committed to keeping children safe in school and have already made the required changes to the administration to ensure all the systems we use are rigorous and secure.

"We are pleased that Ofsted highlighted our Early Years Provision as being good and also recognised that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils is promoted well, developing our pupils into caring responsible citizens.

"We are determined to drive up standards at the school and working with the local authority, we have begun to address the areas highlighted in the report. We will continue to work with our families to help the children achieve the best that they can."

It is understood one of the things under consideration is to make the school an academy, perhaps directly linked with Holbrook academy, but nothing has yet been decided.

Maureen Eade has been made the Interim Executive Governor. 

Mystery Donor Offers Cash For Gabions

Monday, February 19. 06.30.

A generous benefactor has offered to pay for 10 gabions to support coastal protection work at Shotley cliffs.

The offer came after he attended a public meeting held at the Bristol Arms to discuss finding a way forward after Shotley parish  Council said they did not want to lead on the third phase of vital maintenance and protection work along a long section of footpath by the river Stour.

The person making the offer has said the money could be used to purchase 10 wire cages and the rubble, which form the gabions used in coastal protection work and would cost in the region of £500.

It was suggested Shotley Open Spaces (a proactive community volunteer group) or the Community Payback teamwould do the work of actually putting the gabions together and into place.

SOS chairman Gary Richens said: "This is a very kind and generous offer by a member of the public clearly concerned about what is going on at the cliffs, as many of us are.

"However, things are not as  simple as that in terms on our group carrying out work in that area. There are many things to work through with the Parish Council first..

"All the same, it is an incredibly good thing to do and we may well be able to take up the offer in the future."

Following the depth of feeling shown at the public meeting, a small seminar, organised by SCC's Jane Burch, is due to be held next month with a number of statutory bodies involved to discuss how to best get Phase Three done and explore avenues of ensuring the parish council remains as the lead party.

Officials from Babergh, Suffolk County, the AONB, Rights of Way, SOS and the parish council are expected to be in attendance.

Relief For Drivers As Roadworks End - For Now

Joe Harvey Thursday, February 15 14.00

No more dodgy traffic lights, no more diggers blocking the road and no more mud on the road for drivers going to and from Shotley. 

Roadworks, and associated traffic control, along the B1456 as McNicholas contractors laying cables on behalf of EDF and UK Power Network as part of a multi-million pound project laying them under the rivers Stour and Orwell, is almost completed.

The road has been blocked at one stage or another, almost relentlessly for nearly six months causing misery for many motorists, especially when the traffic lights fail to co-ordiante correctly.

However, the blessed relief may only be for five days, as work is due to recommence along Kitchener Way, then into Lloyd Road and then Whinney Quench, as early as Monday.

Roadworks at the bottom of Bristol Hill by UK Power Network contractors ran over their schedule after an error meant the ditch had to be dug back up and filled in again properly following an inspection by safety officers.

Power cables were being laid to feed the new apartments at Shotley Lodge, Admiralty Pier, and anticipated commercial units at Bristol Pier, Shotley.

Anglian Water have been praised by local residents for their work, which has now reached Broadwater Gardens and is close to completion.

Also close to finishing is work by UK Power Network to lay a bigger, higher voltage cable at Woolverstone in order to supply new homes. 

Panto's Path Paved With Fun

Dick Whittington, presented by Shotley Drama Group

Shotley Village Hall

No matter how bad your day, week or month has been, the Shotley Drama Group’s version of Dick Whittington will put sunshine in your heart and a spring in the step.

It doesn’t start that way, after all we have all had it. That moment when we realise, despite your best intentions and good-heart, others around you do not share your values and virtues.

 Indeed, this panto begins with Dick (played very well by seasoned drama group star Diane Weeding, pictured left} realising the street of London are not paved with gold, but cobbles, like everywhere else.

Then follows a classic tale of treachery, a smear campaign and all round dastardly deeds by King Rat, played by the suitably maleficent Guy Johnson, and his scratchy pals, all very good at being Bad.

But perseverance, love, decency and truth, with no little humour and good songs, win out.

As always, the children capture the attention with well-choreographed dances skillfully and energetically performed.

On stage efforts, managed by Len Tarling, are matched only by the behind the scenes work, the colourful sets, are amazing, look out for the subtle references, coupled with the live groan-worthy gags. 

Angela Arnold hammed it up to the right degree as Idle Jack along with Lazy Daisy (veteran panto performer) Barbara Moss-Taylor,  
these two are the new female version of Morecambe and Wise (kids, ask your parents) I guarantee you will not stop chuckling at this pair, in a good way.

Brian Harvey will never win The Voice but that doesn’t stop him being superb at everything else, playing the Dame, directing, with no little help from Margaret Skinner, supporting the cast and generally leading from the front putting in no hold barred display.

Matriarch Mandy Peters’ convincing Scottish accent in the first half, and then Irish in the second kept everyone on their toes as shop owner Mrs Fitzwarren. 

Alice Fitzwarren (Jennie Hammond) wards off the attention of scurrilous Captain  Skull (Brian Spalding) to stay true to her man Dick.

 Skull’s inept partner in crime is the evergreen Bob Oliver, who totally belies his 85 years, with his best Corporal Jones impersonation as Bosun Crossbones.

Narrated by every young girl's image of a princess Fairy Bow Bells (Bethany Spalding) the fairy tale moves from London docks to Eygpt where the Pharoah (Robbie Green) is a dodgy Elvis impersonator, where everyone walks like an Eyptian. adding a touch more silliness to proceedings

Dinah, Dick’s cat played by Honor Hammond showed she could also dance a bit as the cast cuts loose with Footloose in the finale ensuring everyone goes home Walking On Sunshine.

Shotley Drama Group’s Dick Whittington is everything a panto should be, and a bit more, for all generations. Don’t miss this.

Sarah at the Shotley Rose has tickets, the box office at the pub is open from 12noon to 2pm and then 5pm until close. 787237

Saturday’s matinee is sold out, although tickets are still available for Wednesday and Friday, and limited numbers for Thursday and Saturday evening, all starting 7.30pm.

Boundary Review Results Delayed

Monday, February 12 - 06.00

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has delayed the publication of its final recommendations for the Babergh review.

The commission is currently examining the electorate data and forecasts, which underpin all the recommendations and is expected to be able to make a further announcement about the completion of both reviews following its next meeting on 20 February.

The Shotley peninsula currently has three wards, Alton, which covers Tattingstone, Stutton and Brantham with Independent Alastair McCraw and Harriet Steer, a Conservative, the district councillors. David Rose, an Independent, is councillor for Holbrook, Lower Holbrook and Harkstead, while another Independent councillor, Derek Davis covers Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, along with Peter Patrick, a Conservative that lives in Polstead.

The new ward boundaries under review would see Shotley, Erwarton and Harkstead become a single member ward, while Bentley would join with Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston but stay a two-member ward, while Holbrook would go in with the current Alton ward.

It was expected that the Boundary Commission review would have been completed now, but issues with Mid--Suffolk figures have set things back. The current administration of both councils want to dissolved Babergh and Mid-Suffolk and became one Heart of Suffolk council, although Conservative leader John Ward had promised a referendum would be held in Babergh, after  previous poll resulted in 61 per cent of resident that voted going against the proposal in 2011.

Governors Criticised At Inadequate School

Ofsted has downgraded Shotley’s primary school from Good to Inadequate after a fresh inspection uncovered a number of failings between staff, governors and teaching standards.

Governors and senior staff have been heavily critised in the report by the government’s Office for Standards in Education’ team following a two-day inspection.

Shotley Community Primary School, which has nearly 140 pupils, was given one day’s notice of the Ofsted visit back in November 2017 and inspectors found a number of failings, although other aspects were praised and rated as good, in the report released this month.

Accusations that the school did not deal with allegations of bullying adequately were not substantiated and the report rated the school’s pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, as Good.

Safeguarding procedures were judged to be effective with the report highlighting how well staff at the school supported pupils and families who need protection, and keep careful records of what has been done.

Shotley’s early year provision was also rated as Good, and the report noted more children achieved a good level of development than the national average.

The report added: “The early years provision is effective because it is led well. Staff focus on improving their teaching so that children make good progress.”

However, the inspector pointed at a failure for senior staff and the school governors to work together, as one of the primary reasons for the decline in standards.

The report stated: “Leaders and Governors poor relationships and their unwillingness to work collectively for the good of pupils have directly caused a decline at the school."

The assessment also highlighted a failure by some teachers to plan, monitor and evaluate lessons adequately and summed up by saying: “Leaders and Governors have failed to recognise the decline in standards and failed to act rapidly to address this. As a result, pupils do not make the good progress of which they are capable.”

The inspectors did pick up on some of the school’s strengths and noted: “Pupils feel safe in school and say they are supported well by their teachers if they need help. They have good relationships with each other and behave well.”

It was also accepted that the school has a good pupil attendance record and the children enjoy going to school, something confirmed in feedback from parents and carers.

Parents picking up their children from Shotley school today shared their views to SPNF.

One mum, who asked not to be named said: “There’s a lot more to it than the rating. The governors are the ones at fault and the board of governors have a lot to answer for.

“I am devastated that no parents have been informed of how much help was needed.

“I have every faith in the teaching staff and the school. I have three happy children attending here.” 

A Mr Cavanagh said: “It’s appalling that such a good school has been made inadequate. It’s far better than any other school I know. My grandkids love it here.”

Another lady who did not want to be named ,added: “We feel safe with our kids going here, I can’t fault it.”

And dad of children at the school Mr Whiteman, said: “My kids have never had any problems here, not with bullying or learning or anything like that.”

The school was told it needed to improve its leadership and management by clarifying the roles of leaders and governors so they know what it expected.

Staff also need to implement more effective systems in order to improve the quality of teaching and ultimately, the outcome for pupils at the end of key Stages One and Two in reading, writing and mathematics.

Shotley school has previously been inspected in 2014, were it was given an overall Good rating, upgraded from a Satisfactory report previously.

The report recommended an external review of governance takes place, which has now begun and an interim executive board was set up recently to help improve standards at the school.

Both Headteacher Melanie Newman and Chair of Interim Executive Board Maureen Eade, at Shotley Community Primary School have been contacted and asked to comment by SPNF, but have not yet responded.

Public Urge PC To Make Protection U-turn

Shotley Parish Council have been urged to rethink their decision not to continue as the lead for Phase Three to carry out vital coastal  erosion protection work on the cliffs and footpath along the river Stour.

Nearly 100 concerned residents packed into the Bristol Arms to hear information from a number of bodies that have been involved in  previous phases.

This includes protection work along Shotley cliffs, the foreshore starting at the picnic area at the bottom of Bristol Hill and land owned by Shotley Parish Council, past Cockle Creek and into an area owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Proceedings started with an email from Jane Burch, Suffolk County Council’s Flood and Coastal Policy manager, was read out at the public meeting by district councillor Derek Davis who organised the meeting at the request of members of the public.

Mrs Burch explained the history of the protection programme going back to 2008, and how at that time due to an anomaly in the Coastal Protection Act no statutory body had responsibility for the issue. Under Section 43 of the Highways Act, Shotley PC became fund holder for the project, backed by SCC, Babergh District Council, the AONB and other interested parties.

SPC, led by parish councillor responsible for Shotley’s Open Spaces and Amenity’s Committee secured a Marine Management Organisation licence valid unil 2019 to carry out the essential work.

 Almost £200,000 was raised by external funding and grants for the project and Phases One and Two were completed. He resigned from the council two years ago and little else was done on the scheme.

Late last year the parish council, without any public consultation, voted to cease taking the lead on Phase Three and would seek another body to take on the scheme.

Richard Wrinch (pictured left), who was chairman at the time the successful work was carried out, and was re-elected onto the council last year, told the public meeting last night: “It is a minefield. It is a very complicated issue.

“The parish council has to work for the whole village and cannot spend all its time and money on one thing.

“It is very difficult to commit to using any money to it (Phase three) at the moment.”

Cllr Wrinch insisted the recently re-elected Cllr Gary Richens (pictured right) was the best person to lead the next stage due to his experience and proven ability to secure funding and plough through the plethora of paperwork. However, Cllr Richens has been excluded by the parish council from taking part in any meetings or discussion regarding the project, due to the location of his house.

The PC also refused to allow Cllr Richens dispensation, which he legally entitled to have, to take part in discussions, which would have allowed him to lead the project once again as the PC’s representative.

PC chairman Barrie Powell could not explain when asked by a member of the public, why Cllr Richens had been refused dispensation.

Cllr Powell told the meeting that Shotley was effectively two villages, the Gate and Shotley and said people living at the top end of the village did not want money spent on protecting the cliff face.

This was disputed by a number of people in the audience and it was pointed out many people, not just from Shotley but further afield wanted the work carried out, and external funding should be sought as before.

 Cllr Powell ( pictured left) was also unwilling to explain what the legal concerns put forward by the PC as the reason not to stay as the lead on Phase Three, although Cllr Robbie Green promised they would try and make the reasons public at the next Parish Council.

Cllr Richens made an impassioned speech about the project and reminded the council the scheme had not cost residents money from the precept, but had been externally funded and there was money left over to carry out maintenance work this year.

As chairman of the Shotley Open Spaces group, spawned from the old OSAC after all that’ committee resigned due to issues with the council’s clerk, said SOS would not lead but hoped the PC would act quickly before it was too late.

The PC was asked what would happen if no other statutory body could be found to take the scheme forward – Cllr Green said the PC’s decision could be reviewed, but not until next year.

Cllr Wrinch called for everyone to get together to find a solution and told the meeting the item would be fully discussed at the PC’s next public meeting.

The meeting was supported by County Councillor David Woods, who is also chairman of Suffolk Coastal and Heaths AONB, and he promised he would fully support Phase Three, but they could ot legally take it on as the lead.

Paul Garrett, Babergh corporate manger for public realm with responsibility for open spaces, told the meeting Babergh, it too could not lead by law, but was fully committed to supporting the parish council moving forward and as he personally had experience in this field was prepared to help in any way possible.

Members of the public were invited to ask questions and offer views throughout and the overriding result was the hope the parish council would reconsider its decision to lead on Phase Three, it would allow Cllr Richens dispensation to take part in leading the scheme and be given complete access to all information required.

Cllr Davis concluded: “We all need to work together. The parish council needs to continue as the lead on this vital work. You can tell by the depth of feeling at this meeting how much the footpath and cliffs mean to people, not just down this end of Shotley. But the whole village and indeed much further afield.

“The parish council should not be taking important decisions like not continuing with Phase Three, without talking to villagers first.

“Hopefully the parish council will take something from this meeting and we can all move forward.”

Solution For Not So Welcome Sign Row

Supporters of the Welcome To Shotley sign are hoping a solution can be found after an anonymous complaint led its removal being ordered.

The sign (pictured) was erected to replace the former Shotley Village of the Year sign, which had stood for two years without complaint.

Babergh Distrcit Council have ordered the new sign, which also shows how Shotley is a Walkers Are Welcome village, the first in Suffolk to be accredited, to be removed following a complaint.

Now, a number of villagers angered by the individual’s act, are campaigning Suffolk County Council, which owns the land where the sign stands, and are hoping a precedent set in Clare will help their cause.

Geraint Pugh, secretary of Shotley Open Spaces that put up the sign, said: “The old sign was very tatty and did not show the village in a particularly good light, given how it is literally as you come in to Shotley.

“We were advised by our district councillor to get planning permission, which we started to do.

“However, one person had already made a complaint and we were told by an enforcement officer we should take it down as it did not conform with regulations. We will comply and we will take it down.

“Meanwhile, we have approached Suffolk County Council about having another welcome sign at the entrance to the village, which would also highlight our Walkers Are Welcome status, as they have done in Clare, and we are waiting for our county councillor to get back to us.”

Babergh district councillor Derek Davis said: “By the strict letter of the law the sign does not comply with regulations and our enforcement team acted upon the complaint.

“It is very sad really that there are people who want to undermine the good work so many individuals do, giving up their free time to do so as volunteers.

 "It is perfectly understandable that this person wanted to be anonymous, which is their right, given the regard they would be held in by their peers."

“I’m sure there will be many people who support the vast majority of Shotley residents that would like to see a suitable welcome sign at the entrance of our wonderful village.”

Shotley Open Spaces are the group that have cleared footpaths in order that people can walk, or push buggies, and have wheelchair access to routes, for example; to and from the primary school.

Shotley has recently been recognised as joint-winner of Suffolk’s Most Active large village and is the reigning Babergh and Suffolk Village of the Year.

Popular Marina Route Reopened 

Dog walkers and ramblers are again able to cross the lock gates at Shotley marina after essential annual maintenance work was completed as scheduled.

Engineers dealt with a broken pump and other minor snags as part of the routine inspection and work (pictured right).

The lock is a favourite crossing point for Shotley locals and visitors alike, especially walkers and our furry, four-legged friends as they walk around the marina and alongside the foreshore and past the mudflats.

 There are nearly 400 berths for yachts and small vessels, while the boatyard is recognised as one of the best on the east coast.

Those who enjoy drop of refreshment and a meal at the Shipwreck pub will have to wait until Friday (February 9) when it reopens after a winter break.

Bookings are being taken for the recently converted Shipwreck Loft, which houses eight bed and breakfast rooms, which boast fabulous views over to Harwich and Felixstowe. More here... 

FOSS Group Needs You

Committee members are needed to help the Friends of Shotley School.

Volunteer Jo Bennett is hoping anyone interested will attend the FOSS AGM at Shotley primary school at 6pm tonight.

The group, which supports the school with fund-raising events and anything else it can do to help, need a chair person, Vice chair, secretary and general general committee members.

Mrs Bennett said: “If you are interested in being part of FOSS please come along and see what we do. If your interested but can't make the meeting please let me know especially if you'd like to fill one of the above positions.

“We know how busy people are but you can be a general committee member and do not need to sign up to one of the positions listed. Any help is much appreciated.”

Anyone interested can pop along at 6pm tonight (Tuesday) or contact Jo by email or call 07341294733

Spare Room For Single Lodgers Call

By Joe Harvey (Tuesday, February 6, 06.00 )

Householders on the Shotley Peninsula are being asked to use their spare bedroom to take in single lodgers.

Solo Housing have linked up with Babergh Distrct Council to try and help singeltons struggling to find suitable accommodation.

The scheme works by matching a suitable single person, referred by the district council or other agencies, with potential landlords on the penisula, that have been vetted by Solo Housing.

Solo Housing will ensure the landlords’ criteria and accommodation suit the scheme, and will also assess potential lodgers’  circumstances and needs.

It could be the landlords are looking for help with bills, or would like the security and company of another person in their home.

The single people tend to be those either homeless, or close to becoming homelss. They may be on low inclomes, or suffering a break up of a relationship.

Solo Housing chief executive Carolyn Howell said: ‘It’s a very simple and successful model, Solo provides practical help and advice to anyone who has a spare room in their house that they would like to rent out.

“At the same time, we will use our assessment criteria to match suitable people to available rooms, providing advice and support to single people who may like to take up a lodging offer.

“The service aims to provide a simple solution for those who would like to rent out a room, perhaps to help them pay their bills, or for companionship, and at the same time provides a housing solution for a single person who may not be able to access other suitable affordable accommodation on their own.”

One of the first landladies to sign up for the Solo Housing Lodging Scheme was a lady called Joan, who lives in the Babergh District.

She said: “As an elderly female, who lives independently, I didn’t want to be alone, especially at night, so taking in a lodger that met with my requirements was very helpful. 

“Solo met with the prospective lodger to make sure they were suitable for my circumstances and helped me with the paperwork.  It all seemed very thorough.

“I really appreciate the company and social interaction and my current lodger helps with small jobs around the home.”

Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor for Shotley, Chelmondiston, Erwarton, Woolverstone and Freston, said: "This is a sensible, proven scheme that can have very positive benefts for both parties.

“I know there are probably many people with rooms available. It may be they are being charged the empty bedroom tax or they would just like the company. Either way, once matched it is a win-win.”

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Homelessness Team took 227 homeless applications in 2016/17. 

In addition to this, they prevented homelessness in more than 450 cases and are hoping this scheme will help to settle more people at risk of becoming homeless into permanent accommodation.

If you have a room available, or a single person looking for suitable lodgings, contact 0800 652 0155.

Ganges' £8.2m Funding Blow  

By Joe Harvey (Monday February 5, 06.30)

The Shotley peninsula has suffered an £8.2million funding blow after a bid to support infrasture in the area was rejected.

An application by Babergh District Council for £8.2m to support the development at HMS Ganges was turned down by the Govenrnment’s Homes England department.

Babergh made the bid for the cash to the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which was well supported by both district councilors, Shotley Open Spaces, HMS Ganges Museum and the parish council, but was rejected by the Government department.

If successful the money would have been earmarked for the spine road, cabling, community projects on the site and other vital infrastructure work.

Plans to build 285 homes, a residential care home and a small hotel, will still go ahead and developers are due to start work on the roundabout opposite Great Harlings to feed the spine road in the very near future.

The government’s failure to support the infrastructure means community benefits, such as road safety improvements, renovating the mast at HMS Ganges, improved bus routes, and provision of buildings for community use will take longer to deliver.

Planning managers at Babergh will seek other ways to support the development, which will go ahead as scheduled once a construction management plan is finalised.

Babergh district councilor Derek Davis said: “This is really dispapointing and a somehat baffling decision by the Goevrnment that claims more housing should be built, yet will not support infrastructure on the peninsula.

“However, I’m glad the deveolpers are honouring their commitment to the peninsula and even though viability means they will take longer to provide the community benefits, they are pressing ahead.

“I would also like to thank the officers Christine Thurlow and Julie Abbey-Taylor for all their hard work and continued determination to find other ways to support this economic growth on the peninsula.”

The decision on where to fund deveolpments was announced on the Homes England website and council officers will seek feedback as to why the peninsula bid was rejected.

While HMS Ganges, and a project at the Fisons’ Site at Barnford, were rejected the Government supported a deveolpment for 3,500 new homes in a garden suburb on northern fringes of Ipswich, and another £5.5m towards Colchester’s northern gateway.

Both are expected to affect the peninsula in terms of traffic and strain on nearby facilities, but without the infrastuture benefits.

Babergh’s bid for funding to help the HMS Ganges project was part of a £2.3billion Housing Infrastructure Fund fund put forward by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

MP Javid said: “Our ambitious policies in our Housing White Paper will mean more and better homes, welcomed by existing communities because they add to, rather than subtract from, what is already there.”

Charity Is The Winner On Rose Race Night

The Breast Cancer Care charity is £712 better off today after a successful Race Night at the Shotley Rose.

As the horses, and other four-legged friends, romped home, punters and sponsors dug deep to support the fund-raising event.

"It was a lovely evening with lovely people," said Shotley Rose landlady Sara Pallant. "The organisers were very pleased with the amount raised for what isa very worthy cause."

Breast Cancer Care was formed in 1973 to help every person affected by breast cancer to get the best treatment, information and support.

More information on the charity can be found its website here. Or call 0800 800 6000

Shotley Dad Jailed And Banned

Shotley father of two Christoper Pitt has been jailed for nine months and banned from driving for four years after a series of drink-driving offences.

Pitt was serving a suspended jail sentence when he was involved in an accident in his mother’s car while driving along the B1456 and called the police himself late on January 18, as the car was stuck in a hedge.

Police found Pitt did not have permission to take the car, and in court in Ipswich he admitted failing to provide a specimen, driving while disqualified and aggravated vehicle taking.

Magistrates sentenced the 30-year-old divorcee to 12 weeks for those offences, and also activated two suspended jail sentences of eight weeks each, totaling 36 weeks in prison.

Pitt’s defence counsel Jeremy Kendall pleaded with magistrates not to jail the divorced father of two, who had a steady job and was trying to turn his life around.

But the three magistrates at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ court heard how Pitt had five previous drink driving convictions among his 16 previous offences and decided a custodial sentence was inevitable.

Houses Being Built Next To Pier at Shotley

Work is underway to build a dozen new homes next to Admirality Pier, Shotley.

The site next to the iconic pier in Shotley Gate, which was used by thousands of young sailors from HMS Ganges as part of their  training, is being cleared.

Piling has started and part of a former sea wall is being dismantled.

The homes are being built as part of the 150 unit development, which has had permission since he 2000s.

Builders are expected to finish the preparation work by May, when the footings will be dug out and building started. The new homes are due to be completed by early next year

The new homes, will be part of the Ganges pier, Shotley, which houses a radar tower and that will be staying in place. The pier will be opened up as part of the regeneration and their will be a slip way for boat-owners

 Trainess from HMS Ganges learned many seamanship skills on theAdmiralty pier at Shotley, whch was built by the Royal Navy in 1910, five years after the training establishment was opened up ashore. 

Boys accessed the pier at Shotley, down a set of steps known as Faith, Hope and Charity. These were also used for punishment with trainees forced to run up and down in full kit, and sometimes carrying a weapon.

Next to Faith Hope and Charity, are 12 luxury two-bedroom apartments, whch are nearing completion. These are being marketed by Savills estate agents and will be ready for occupation by early spring/early summer this year.

Another 19 apartments are earmarked to be built at Victory House (which houses the Shipwreck and HMS Ganges Museum, at Shotley marina, as part of the overall development.

Youngsters Wanted For Voice Audition

Potential pop stars from the peninsula are being offered the chance to audition the The Voice Kids. 

Superstar coaches Emma Willis,, McFly's Danny Jones and Pixie Lott will be looking to spin their chairs at the blind audition this weekend.

Highly talented young singers, aged between seven and 14 are invited to attend the show 

Even as an audience member who could witness a star being born.

Click here to book your place or get free audience tickets this Saturday or Sunday.

Angry Residents Call For Public Meeting

 A public meeting is to be held to discuss a controversial decision by Shotley Parish Council to stop supporting an agreed sea defence system.

The open debate will be held at the Bristol Arms, Shotley Gate, on Wednesday, February 7, from 7pm to see a display, with a 7.30pm start for discussion, in  the wake of the decision made by parish councillors under advisement by parish clerk Dina Bedwell late last year.

Concerned Shotley residents want answers to  number of questions, including why the decision was made without consultation with villagers, what the benefits, or otherwise of the decision and how it will benefit the parish.

members of Shotley Open Spaces, the parish council, members from interested parties, including Suffolk County Council's Rights of Way Team, AONB members, Babergh  District Council, Suffolk County Council and and other interested parties have been invited.

Anyone with an interest is invited to attend but if you can't make it then you can send your views to:

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