Woolverstone Archive

Arson Suspected After Home Farm Log Blaze

Sunday, July 14, 13.00

An arsonist is suspected of starting a blaze with almost 60 tonnes of wood at a farm in Woolverstone. 

Farm workers and fire crews quickly tackled theinferno and thwarted the complete destruction of the pile of cut logs at Home Fram, on the Main Road at Woolverstone.

While the farmer used his irrigation system firefighters from Ipswich and Leiston used their chrome, main jets and hose reels to extinguish the fire.

A Jerry can found at the scene prompted suspicion of a malicious act and fire investigators are looking at the definite cause.

Ian appleby, who witnessed the incident, posted on social media:  "To the individual who thought it would be funny to ignite our log pile, your plan was stopped by the Home Farm fire brigade!"

More Peninsula News headlines...

Woolverstone Part In D-Day Deception Revealed

Thursday, June 6 0600

Woolverstone's vital, but little known role in the D-Day landings has been revealed. 

Simon Pearce, a historian and former Woolverstone High School master, posted on the WoolverstoneNotes and Queries' Facebook page explaining in detail how Operation Quicksilver tricked the Nazis into believing the Allies troops' invasion was going toiled in calais, and not Normandy.

Mr Pearce, whois also the Woolverstone parish council chairman wrote: "Its objective was to mislead Germans as to the area selected by the Allies for the invasion of Europe and convince them that D-Day invasion was a feint to draw attention away from the “real invasion” which would take place at Pays de Calais. 

The idea was to construct a fleet of dummy landing craft which would be moored along the South-East and East coast. Woolverstone Park with access to the River Orwell and with a heavily wooded fringe was an ideal location. Waldringfield, on the Deben, was also selected as a perfect site.

“A” Company of the Worcester regiment was deployed on this task at Woolverstone Park. Their training took place at Waldringfield.

“First of all we were to go on a course, a common enough event, as any ex-service chaps will know, only in this case whole companies at a time. My Company found itself at Waldringfield near Woodbridge, in a field with piles of metal tubes welded together to form a type of assembly kit, each sub-assembly had to be memorised and broken down time and time again until we could do it all blindfolded. At this stage we practiced in the dark until we could do it perfectly.” Lance-Corporal Yardley Worcester No.18 Platoon, "B" Company, 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

The job was to fabricate “Bigbobs” dummy landing craft which simulated the new Mark 4 Landing Craft Tank (LCT). The Bigbobs arrived in kit form and were assembled in the dark in near silence. Their frame was made of light weight tubular steel with canvas stretched over it. They floated on an assemblage of 45 gallon oil drums. Each consisted of 500 parts and weighed approximately 8 tons. They were nearly 200 feet long. It took a group of 20 trained men divided into three teams approximately six hours in complete darkness under the trees to assemble one Bigbob. The finished craft was run down the slipway into the river on a wheeled undercarriage. From there they floated off into the river and carefully moored.

From 1st April 1944 there was a one mile wide exclusion zone along the South and East coast up to the Wash. Woolverstone and the Shotley Peninsula must have been literally sealed off. This zone was enforced until 15th August 1944

On 22nd May construction of Bigbobs started at Woolverstone in “an expanse of open parkland bounded by a line of trees close to the river bank, where the ground sloped steeply down to the water”. The trees hid the construction materials which were delivered from an Ordnance depot in Ipswich. The weather at the end of May was calm and dry with little moonlight. Four launches took place each night with 50 Bigbobs moored by June 6th. 20 further craft were added the following week.

To maintain the deception a fake Army camp was constructed between Woolverstone and Pin Mill. Among other things, this had a Guard house, a parade square, tents, dummy equipment, smoking field kitchens, phantom convoys of army lorries delivering supplies and even fake wireless chatter to moored Bigbobs. 

The Bigbobs themselves were serviced by a small number of personnel members of 446 Flotilla of Royal Marines who were camped on Church Field in tents just outside the main gates leading to the rose garden. The Bigbobs were moored with a white ensign raised during the day and manned by skeleton crews who carried out a range of tasks. Specially designed oil burners were lit to produce puffs of smoke. Small boats delivered stores and took men to and from the craft.

The deception was so successful that members of the WRNS detailed to Woolverstone Hall had no idea that the LCTs on the river were dummy craft. The Germans continued to expect an assault on Calais with their intelligence that a large fleet of landing craft and forces were massed in the South East corner of England. They maintained a readiness for this assault which kept troops and armoured divisions away from the battle for Normandy."

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Car Accidentally Lands on Woolverstone Wall

Sunday, March 24, 1800

A Mercedes driver luckily escaped unhurt after his car accidentally landed on a homeowners wall in Woolverstone. 

The man from Pin Mill ended up driving into a hedge and ended up stuck on a wall after drifting onto a kerb and losing control.

Police confirmed speeding was not a factor and the driver, although shaken and perhaps slightly embarrassed, went home without being charged for any offence.

An officer at the scene told Peninsula News: "This was purely an unfortunate accident. I spoke to witnesses who confirmed speeding was not factor, and also the airbags did not  deploy, which they would have done at a collision at 30 miles per hour."

The accident happened late on Sunday afternoon on the B1456 heading towards Shotley, almost opposite Widows' Cottages, just before the turning towards Woolverstone Marina.

The AA attended but due to the car being on the wall, they had to wait for specialist crane equipment to remove the vehicle in order not to cause even more damage.

A Whole World Of Flavours At Spring Lodge

Friday, January 25, 0700

Dishes from the Philippines, Spain, Poland, South Africa and Romania will be served up for visitors to a care home on Saturday.

Staff at Spring Lodge care home, in Main Road, Woolverstone, are preparing a tasty surprise for their open day on Saturday. (January 26)

Visitors to the open event, from 2pm to 4pm, will be able to sample a range of food from around the world, including paella and sangria, reflecting manager Jose Simoes's Spanish heritage, while head chef Andy Gray and domestic worker Lana Shepherd will be bringing along boerewors sausages and Mrs Ball fruit chutney, both favourites in South Africa where their families come from.

Domestic Irina Lysak will be baking an apple cake popular in her Polish homeland while Mau Nechaldas Lloyd will be presenting stir fry noodles from the Philippines and there will also be a speciality vegetable stew from Romania. Meanwhile, English staff will be baking cheese scones.

Activities coordinator Aimee Davey, who came up with the idea for World Flavours Day, said: “We have an amazing mix of staff from all parts of the world working at our home on the Shotley Peninsula.

“I thought it would be great to use their culinary expertise to produce an open day treat for visitors.”

Entertainment will be provided by popular singer Netty Osman who will perform songs from around the world and the Hara Tribal belly dance troupe.

Mr Simoes said: “It’s important for our residents to still feel part of their community so events open to the public like this are very important.”
He added visitors would be welcome to look around the home which offers a peaceful rural environment for dementia, respite and residential care.
“My staff and I will also be on hand to discuss any care needs you may have,” he said.

More Peninsula headlines...

Plan For New House in Conservation Area Refused

Tuesday, January 22, 1400

Permission to build a new house in Woolverstone’s Conversation Area has been refused by Babergh planners. 

The owner of 1 Deer Park Cottage in Mannings Lane, wanted to erect a cottage in the grounds of her land but neighbours at Deer Park Lodge and Woolverstone Parish Council objected. 

Babergh planning officers deemed the proposed development would result in less than substantial harm being caused to the Conservation Area and non-designated heritage assets because a dwelling in this location would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area as required by a number of planning policies.

It was also ruled the new build would impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and would not protect or enhance the surrounding area or positively contribute to the local character and distinctiveness of the special landscape.

Woolverstone PC has been concerned at the amount of development in the designated conservation area, and the AONB, with issues including the Walled garden, and more recently Dairy House now owner by Ipswich High School.

Residents in neighbouring village Chelmondiston have also expressed concerns over a proposal by Linden Homes to build 90 houses on land near Hill Farm, which would be within the designated AONB.

Anger at Chelmo Housing Plan...

Building Levy Brings Cash Boost for Woolverstone

Wednesday, January 16, 1700

Woolverstone parish has received a cash boost of more than £7,500 after work started on converting buildings at Home Farm.

Another £7,000 is in the pipeline from developments at the Walled Garden and Dairy House, recently bought by Ipswich School. 

The money comes from Woolverstone’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and can be used by the parish council or community groups for projects within the village.

The levy cash can not be used just to balance the books and must be repaid to Babergh if not spent within five years.

A further £40k has been paid by developers to the district’s 123 pot. 

Babergh District Council adopted the CIL policy in 2016 and are the first authority in the country to produce an easy to use link, using software by Exacom.

The district council have already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after officers collected more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.

CIL is a set payment made by developers to support the infrastructure for communities and is split into three pots.

One is 15% of the total due paid to parishes from the neighbourhood pot, unless they have a Neighbourhood Development Plan when 20% is then payable to the village.  

Another pot, called the 123 list, which is the percentage paid to the district and open for anyone eligible to apply for. This includes parish councils, community groups, the NHS, and the county council for education and infrastructure, including highways.

The third is the amount paid to Babergh to administer the scheme.

Derek Davis, Berners District Councillor, said: “Parishes on the peninsula are beginning to see the upside of development with this levy being paid directly for the benefit of neighbourhoods.

“This money is for us as residents to make the most of for community projects to make people’s lives better today, and in the future. 

“The wider pot can also be applied for and again it is something I would encourage parish councils and community groups to do.

“Please feel free to get in touch with me or the CIL team at Babergh if you would like to know how this CIL can help you.”

Cllr Davis is the cabinet member responsible for the Exacom project which is the first in the country of its type.

“The pilot has already attracted interest from a number of local authorities, and indeed, the Home Office,” said Cllr Davis. “It is an easy to use tool for all parish councils, and community group leaders, to see exactly what is available for a wide variety of infrastructure projects within communities.”

Babergh has already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after collecting more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.

To check how much is CIL is due in your peninsula village go to the Babergh Development Link here… 

High School Set To Take In Boarders

Friday, November 16, 14.00

Boarders are set to be housed at Ipswich High School in Woolverstone. 

An initial 14 children will live in the newly acquired Dairy House, (pictured right by Jackson Stops) but the school hopes to eventually move 55 pupils into the building after some redevelopment, of barns and outbuildings in the grounds

There are twin and single rooms for the boarders, (picture courtesy of Envoplan) and there will be staff quarters in the Grade 2 building.

 Ipswich High School bought the six-bedroom Dairy House earlier this year after it was put on the market for £1.25million.

The house, complete with swimming pool, conservatory and courtyard, sits on the left of the drive going down to St Michael’s Church. It was originally built in 1870 in the grounds of Woolverstone Hall, which was owned by the wealthy and influential Berners family.

The school is holding an open day next Wednesday November 21 from 5pm-7pm for local residents to find out more about its plans for the Dairy House.

Head teacher Ms Oona Carlin said: "I am delighted that the school will begin to offer boarding in September.

"The Dairy House is the perfect location and property for us to develop into our boarding house and we are very happy to be working with local architects to ensure the development of the site is sympathetic to its history.

"We hope that the Woolverstone community will be pleased with our plans."

The privately-run Ipswich High School has undergone number of changes since being bought by Chinese owners in September 2017.

Boys were introduced into the previously all-girls school in September this year, with 17 joining the Prep School and Sixth Form.

The co-educational Ipswich High School has also adopted the Diamond Model of schooling, which means children are taught together in early years, before single sex learning continues through the teenage years, and they get together again in the classroom in the sixth form.

Woolverstone’s school is understood to be the only facility offering the Diamond Model in Suffolk at the moment, and claims to combine the academic benefits where boys and girls learn at a different pace, but allows co-educational social advantages.

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Emotional Night For Suffolk Stars

Friday, November 9, 08.00

There was not a dry eye at Trinity Park as four of the peninsula's finest were honoured at the Stars of Suffolk last night. 

Six-year-old Preston Parker, Jane Gould, Alan Nunn and Shotley Open Spaces were all runners up as all the finalists were presented with prizes.

Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne presented Preston with a Blues kit, with Parker 7 on the back of the shirt, and tickets for all the family to go and watch Paul Lambert's side play against Wigan, along with his trophy.

 Preston was nominated as Young Person of The Year for voluntarily litter picking down at Shotley Gate, and leading the parish's Beach Clean.

He was pipped by Daniel Jillings, who is profoundly deaf, and has successfully battled to introduce a British Sign Language GCSE.

Jane, Alan and SOS, were all given a bottle of Prosecco, to go with their especially inscribed individual trophies.

Jane was shortlisted in the Community Champion category after being nominated by Cllr Derek Davis, who collected Jane's award on her behalf as she was singing in her community choir and did not want to let anyone down.

Jane was shortlisted for being a compassionate and indispensable member of the Shotley Peninsula community.

She has raised thousands for St Michael’s Church in Woolverstone with her innovative ideas. The Monthly Market has become a must visit, with a fabulous friendly atmosphere.

Jane also introduced the Death café, an incredible initiative allowing people to talk openly about a very difficult subject. Jane has organised art exhibitions, including a unique sculpture display.

Number one spot went to Sue Willgoss, who has fought to bring about change for those with special education needs, disability and mental health difficulties.

SOS and Alan Nunn were in the Keeping Suffolk Special category and came behind David Goodlad, who is ‘community personified’ in the village of Rattlesden.

SOS was chosen for its volunteers' working tirelessly to keep a numbers of walking trails, tracks and pathways used by young mums with buggies, disabled vehicles and others, clear by cutting back brambles and other overgrowth. SOS also established the first accredited Walkers Are Welcome area in Suffolk, and have helped other groups to do so in their village. They raise funds through an annual calendar highlighting other community ventures.

Alan has been running the Chelmondiston Recycling Centre for a number of years, totally free of charge. He dedicates all his Saturday, Bank Holiday Mondays and Wednesday mornings in an effort to keep the facility open, since its closure by the local authority. Alan sorts through all the waste, recycles as much of it as possible and keeps costs very low. 

The Overall Stars of Suffolk winners, organised by Parker Communications, in conjunction with the EADT, were the staff at Barking Pre-School who saved the life of three-year-old Annabel Brightwell, who collapsed suddenly while dancing after suffering a cardiac arrest.

 Pre-school team members Shelley Symonds, Ness Hall, Zoe Corbett, Lucy Glendinning and Elsah Thorpe showed no hesitation, performing CPR on the youngster for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived. Annabel was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and placed in an induced coma, spending six days in intensive care.

She was later diagnosed with a rare genetic heart condition, which had been unknown to her parents.She is now on medication, but aside from that is living the life of a normal three-year-old. Annabel’s mum Rebecca said the pre-school’s quick actions undoubtedly saved Annabel’s life. Shelley, in particular, was praised for her rapid response.

Annabel went on stage in a tear-jerking moment to personally thank her heroines, on what was her fourth birthday.

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Stars Of Suffolk Champions Shortlisted

Sunday, November 4, 07.00

Community volunteers from Woolverstone, Chelmondiston and Shotley, have been shortlisted for the Stars of Suffolk awards. 

Jane Gould, Alan Nunn, Shotley Open Spaces (SOS), andPreston Parker from the peninsula, are among the finalists for the community awards, which will be held at Trinity Park on Thursday, November 8, hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.

Jane Gould (pictured right with fellow volunteer Beryl Walker) has been hailed as a tireless volunteer, spearheading the good work done at Woolverstone church with markets, exhibitions and other community events, including the Death Cafe initiative.

Volunteers from SOS spend hours cutting, streaming and clearing overgrown areas around the village ensuring people with buggies, young children and the less abled can navigate paths and tracks without being attacked by brambles and overgrowth.

 The group is also responsible for health walks, formed Suffolk's first Walkers Are Welcome accredited group and have helped the local tourism economy grew, while looking out for locals too.

Both were nominated by district councillor Derek Davis who said: "Far too often the excellent work these wonderful people do is overlooked, or not recognised. 

"More often than not they are happy to get on with it without a fuss, but I believe it doesn't hurt that all our volunteers and community champions should be recognised.

"The fact that so many people from the peninsula reached the finals highlights what a wonderful area we live and reflects on our fabulous community spirit."

Preston Parker was nominated as Young Person of the Year after taking it upon himself to complete litter picks on Shotley foreshore.

Alan Nunn is being recognised for his unstinting work helping at the recycling tip and Chelmondiston, and was also nominated by the parish council. 

The Suffolk awards follow on from the Stars of Babergh last month when Shotley postmaster Manish Patel, and village stalwart Norman Bugg were winners of their respective community categories, Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbours and Hollingsworths  were runners up.

Full report from Stars of Suffolk here on Friday...

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Sexual Grooming

Friday, October 5 14.00

A peninsula villager has been arrested on suspicion of sexual grooming.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesperson said: "Following a call to police on Wednesday 3 October, a 56-year-old man from the Ipswich area, was arrested yesterday (Thursday 4 October) on suspicion of sexual grooming.

"He was taken into police custody where he will be questioned by detectives."

The person can not be identified for legal reasons.

Police Quiz Alleged Sex Offender 

Thursday, October 4, 19.00

Police are tonight questioning a Woolverstone man in relation to alleged sex offences regarding children on social media. 

Three vehicles containing officers swooped on the house on the B1456 to carry out initial investigations.

The man, who can not be identified for legal reasons, used the pseudonym Tom Edwards to make contact with decoys posing as children on a phone app and is alleged to have made a string of indecent and inappropriate comments and suggestions. 

Online sex offender hunters, acting on behalf of All For The Kids posted on No More Silent Voices UK Facebook page, after confronting the alleged perpetrator.

During the clip one lady said: "He has been absolutely disgusting and vile to the decoys.

"The police turned up and threatened to arrest is and get out of the village."

Suffolk Police have been asked for comment.

WARNING: This clip contains explicit description.

Exhibition Showcases Local Artists

Saturday, September 1, 19.00

A wonderful array of paintings, quilt-work, sculptures, textiles and photos were on show at the Woolverstone Art Show. 

The exhibition at Berners Hall, Woolverstone featured many artists from the peninsula and attracted hundreds of visitors.

Hosted by the Friends of Woolverstone, which supports local good causes, the exhibitors were delighted at the amount of sales made.

 Artist Anne Plummer, whose work reflects her close affinity to the rivers Orwell and Stour, said: "This is an extremely well organised exhibition and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

"There has been lots of interest and people have bought our work."

Volunteers ensured refreshments were available all day, with an area available to sit and chat, while textiles demonstrations were held.

A silent auction will be held today (Sunday) where an original piece of local art, highlighting a peninsula place of interest, has been donated.

Organiser Simon Pearce said: "We were a bit unsure about how it would go but the response has been excellent.

"The artists, all local, are of a very high standard and there has been a wonderful atmosphere." 

The exhibition and sale continues on Sunday between 10am to 5pm, with free entry and plenty of free parking next to the hall.

Click here for more pictures of exhibition...

Hundreds Caught Speeding On Peninsula

Sunday, August 26, 09.00

More than 200 people have been caught speeding on the peninsula in the past six weeks, according to figures released by Suffolk's Safety Camera Team.

254 drivers were captured on film driving at excessive speed in just four of the peninsula's villages, since July 1 2018..

Woolverstone accounted for 23 offenders going through the village at more than the 30mph limit, with one driver caught doing 45mph.

Speeding motorists were snapped by enforcement cameras on the B1456 at Woolverstone, the A137 at Brantham and the B1080 at Sutton and Tattingstone.

Brantham tops the peninsula table, and also the in the Hadleigh and west Ipswich safer neighbourhood team's area, with 136 offenders.

These figures do not include those compiled by community speed watch volunteers, operating in a number of villages.

The Safety Camera Team operates a number of mobile enforcement vehicles, which are deployed across Suffolk.

Proactive speed enforcement only takes place in Suffolk at locations where there is an on-going risk of collisions, where a number of fatal or serious injury road traffic collisions have occurred or where there have been substantiated complaints from local people.

Locations where proactive speed enforcement takes place are reviewed regularly by senior officers.

Excess speed for the conditions, or the limit, is one of the main reasons for accidental deaths and injuries on our roads. Speed limits are there to protect road users warning them of the dangers of the road and if caught speeding you could instantly face a minimum of a £100 penalty and three points on your licence or attend court.

Suffolk has four operational fixed camera sites, including the Orwell Bridge where more than 500 drivers were caught exceeding the 60mph average speed limit in both directions in June 2018 alone.

Two Arrested After Illegal Immigrant Swoop

Tuesday, August 21, 21.00

Two people have been arrested in Woolverstone after a boat was spotted landing alleged illegal immigrants. 

Police and Border Force officials searched the area close to Woolverstone Marina and the High School, and two people were taken into custody.

The boat carrying the passengers down the river Orwell was seized by officials.

Villagers and footballers training nearby reported  spotting a number of police scouring the area, including nearby woodland.

Meanwhile, a group of people were then detained after a joint operation between Border Force officials and Suffolk police near the Cambridgeshire border.

A lorry was stopped between Fordham and Newmarket and 14 people were arrested.

District Ward To Be Reshaped And Called Orwell

Tuesday, August 7, 08.00

Woolverstone is to come under a newly formed Orwell ward in the Boundary Commission review of Babergh district wards.

The village is currently looked after by two district councillors as part of Berners ward, which also includes Chelmondiston, Shotley 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 www.lgbce.org.uk

Monthly Market Marks Anniversary

Sunday, July 15 ,07.00

A monthly market celebrated its third anniversary by hitting the £10,000 mark. 

St Michael's church in Woolverstone has been holding the popular market come rain, snow or shine for three years with an eclectic mix of stalls all contributing towards the fund-raising efforts.

Quilts, cushions, scorched wood carvings, cakes, trinkets, various meats, fruit and veg, along with sweet treats, bespoke present design, an Aladdin's Cave of all sorts, flowers and plants all add to the feel and presence of the market.

 Jane Gould, a church warden and organiser of the market from its inception, is delighted at the inclusivity of the monthly market and its broadchurch appeal.

"All the money raised goes to church funds and we support different charities from our funds over the course of the year," said Jane.

"We think that providing a space for the community to gather is as important as the money raised, particularly in a small village like Woolverstone with no school, shop or pub, however, we didn't expect to reach quite such an extended area as we have.

"We have regulars from Bramford, Lawford, Harwich to mention just the ones we know about." 

Quirky vehicles added to the colour and variety of last Sunday's market at the church, which also holds a Death Cafe, choral evenings, and other off beat events to attract people to the traditional ancient church.

 Click here for picture special...

Classic Car Show Judged A Success

Thursday, July 13, 10.00

The inaugural Woolverstone Classic car show has been hailed a success, with many owners vowing to return. 

Set against the beautiful St Michael’s Church and bathed in sunshine, 75 vintage cars and 30 classic motorbikes attracted a good crowd throughout the afternoon.

Rolls Royces, Bentleys, MGs, Rovers, Ford Cortinas, Capris, Mustangs, Rileys and a Fiat called Sophia were among the wonderful array of awe-inspiring vehicles.

 A line of motorbikes included BSAs, Triumphs and a Suzuki ranged in age and also brought admiring glances in the grounds alongside Woolverstone Hall.

Petrol-heads and those who just like a good old un were able to chat with the various owners and relax with a beer or burger on a chilled-out afternoon.

The car owners were also able to take part in a treasure hunt and explore the wonders of the Shotley  peninsula, all which added to the experience for the visiting exhibitors. 

One veteran car owner who has attended shows all across the country was hugely impressed with the Woolverstone setting and organization and believes even more car owners will be back next year.

 Norman Goodey, who owns a 1967 Rover, said: “We weren’t really sure what to expect but this has exceeded expectations.

“It is a lovely atmosphere with lots of space and we have been made to feel very welcome.

“I will definitely be back and many of te other owners I have spoken too will also be back, and spreading the word to others, so I imagine even more will be back.”

Organised by Friends of Woolverstone to raise funds for local good causes, the classic car rally is one of a number of events going on over the summer.

Click here for picture special...

Classics On The Park

Wednesday, July 4, 10.00

Classic car lovers have the rare opportunity to see vintage vehicles at the iconic Woolverstone Hall.

The glorious setting will host the Friends of Woolverstone event in conjunction with Ipswich High School, with Eastern Counties Motor and Motorcycle Clubs invited to showcase their models.

The inaugural Classic Car and Motorcycle Event on the Church Field, Marina Road, Woolverstone is on Thursday, July 12 from noon, until 6pm.

This beautiful parkland location and close to the marina offers good access and hard standing.

Owners of any pre-1972 vehicles are invited to display their classic at no charge but hopefully the donations towards village amenities will flow.

Ipswich High School, who have generously agreed that Church Field can be used for this event, have also agreed that photographs can be taken of vintage cars in front of beautiful Woolverstone Hall and they would be pleased to receive any copies of photographs taken to commemorate the day.

Refreshments and a barbecue will be available and the grounds are a wonderful place for a picnic.

If you have a car that you would like to bring please contact js_young@icloud.com or just turn up on the day.

See poster…

House Can Be Built Within Walled garden

Thursday, May 17, 16.00

Permission has been granted to build a house within the Victorian Walled garden in Woolverstone. 

Despite robust arguments against the development made by parish councilor and solicitor Simon Quantrill and Woolverstone residents’ representative Mr March, the planning committee voted 8-6 in favour of approval.

However, a stringent S106 legal agreement was added as a condition, giving the planning officer power to refuse the building if the developer did not comply will all the clauses.

The condition would ensure only one of three plots could be sold, before plot number 12 within in the Walled garden is sold. This would prevent the sale of the other homes, leaving plot 12 without ownership therefore causing potential pressure to subdivide the Walled Garden for more dwellings.

Cllr Derek Davis, Berners ward and planning committee member, pressed the applicant Mr Braithwaite’s agent Mr Neil Ward on whether they would comply.

Mr Ward told the committee his client was not happy with clause one of the S106 and felt it was too onerous and should be replaced with other conditions.

The Walled Garden which was originally part of Woolverstone Hall, built in 1776 for William Berners, who was of significant importance to the Shotley peninsula and the village of Woolverstone in particular.

The committee also approved retrospective permission for a detached double garage, with the condition the doors were changed to a more appropriate design, by 10 votes to three.

Canterbury Cathedral Choristers Coup For Woolverstone Church

Tuesday, April 24, 07.00

Young choristers from the world-renowned Canterbury Cathedral have been booked to perform live in Woolverstone this June.

The concert by up to 17 boys directed by Dr David Flood, who is the cathedral's organist and master of choristers, will take place at St Michael's Church, Woolverstone, on Wednesday June 27.

Villager Chris Hodgkinson secured the prestigious event as his son James is one of the choristers, and all proceeds will go towards St Michael's and the Choir House Choristers Social Fund.

The choristers usually perform six days a week at Canterbury Cathedral, which continues a 1,400 year old tradition, and they have recently conducted a two-week tour of America, where they recorded a CD.

All the boys are educated at St Edmunds School in Canterbury, with many going on to win scholarships to senior schools nationwide. Voice trials to select a new intake, usually six or seven choristers, will take place this year on November 11.

Tickets for June's event are £12.50 and area available from Chris Hodgkinson on 07764285928

See poster....

Suffolk Sculptor's Controversial Exhibition Challenges Perceptions

Monday, April 9, 09.00

If sculptor Caroline Mackenzie met Picasso today she would tell him women do more than just sit in chairs looking coy.

To underline her point Caroline has produced a thought-provoking, somewhat controversial, set of five prototype statues depicting a woman's metamorphosis from victim to a joyous free spirit, undergoing a crucifixion along the way. 

Displaying the Way - Truth - Life exhibition in Woolverstone church adds to the defiance, and at the same time to the power of the message. As a Catholic, Caroline knows how her work will raise eyebrows, or even draw outright outrage from senior clergy - not least because Christa challenges religious assumptions.

"Religious imagination has expressed the the redemptive suffering of Christ as applicable exclusively to the masculine body and the male experience of life," said Caroline.

"A key teaching of Christ is that if you wish to follow his 'Way' then each person must take up his or her own cross. 

"One of the specifics of my cross is being an intelligent, creative woman in a society that pays lip service to equality, but as the recent statistics show (the pay gap report) is far from equal." 

Suffolk sculptor Caroline drew inspiration for her work from a burning self of injustice, living and learning about life in India and a determination to offer an alternative to the work of people such as Picasso and Anthony Gormley.

The idea of Christa, first created in 1972 by Edwina Sandys and catapulted to fame in 1984 when it was celebrated by the Bishop of New York, which Caroline remembers as  pivotal moment in her thought process.

She wanted to challenge the traditional view of women in art as simply muses bending to the will of man, and wanted to highlight women's intelligence, creativity and challenge the perception of women as objects, rather than in the whole - displaying all the human emotions, including suffering and joy

"Why is the Angel of the North a man?" asks Caroline as she starts her talk at Woolverstone's St Michael's Church and points out how few classic works of art ever present women other than sitting demurely .

 This is 'Me Too' in aluminium wire and plaster of Paris, refusing to allow women being seen as victims, or mere objects.

The display starts with the cowered 'Victim', moves on to 'Defiant/Anger' with thunderbolts exploding from the head, before the impressive Christa being crucified, and representing redemption, the obvious next step is the resurrection and finally the dancing model. The latter two still have the scars of nails in the hand as a reminder of the past, but Christa is very much moving on and is embracing life.

The beauty of the display though is it can be taken in any order, work it backwards for example and it could have another meaning. The exhibition, the individual statues, are what you see, and take, from them.

Caroline studied art at St Martin's College, but it was India that caught her eye and she worked and studied with Jyoti Sahi, lived in a Hindu Temple town, then explored philosophy and Sanskrit.

Her latest work has been critically acclaimed by art historian, expert and television presenter Sister Wendy Beckett, and Caroline is hoping to raise the £30,000 to have the prototypes cast in bronze, using a small Brandeston company to do the work.

The statues are on display at St Michael's church in Woolverstone until May. 

See more pictures here.

For more details go to www.carolinemackenzie.co.uk

Anger as Victorian Garden Comes Under Threat

Monday, March 26, 06.30

Villagers are prepared to fight to save a Victorian Walled Garden, which is under threat from developers.

Owners of the site along Nursey Lane, Woolverstone, are seeking to rescind an agreement, called an S106 agreement) which was made to protect the Walled Garden as part of the permission granted to build houses on the land which formally made up Doubles Nurseries.

The agreement stated that the owners of the largest house built, a five-bedroom home, would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the late 18th century walled garden.

The developer George Braithwaite now want to build a three-bedroom house, which would overlap into the Gardens and the owner of that home would then be responsible for the Grade II Walled Garden.  

A dozen concerned neighbours held talks before Woolverstone Parish council on Thursday to discuss ways of getting their message across to Babergh Distict Council planners.

The parish council agreed they would write to Babergh’s heritage team and Historic England reminding them of the importance and history of the Walled Garden which was originally part of Woolverstone Hall, built in 1776 for William Berners, who was of significant importance to the Shotley peninsula and the village of Woolverstone in particular.

Ward member Cllr Derek Davis said he would ask for an extension of the consultation process due to the planning portal being down, and the parish council meeting being delayed due to unforeseen circumstances

 Parish councillor Mark Bostock, who lives next to the site said: "This is the thin end of the wedge.

“If the developers get permission for this then we could see a housing estate being built in these very important Victorian gardens.” 

The unique gardens, one of a few surviving in Suffolk, were built with soft, orange/red bricks, laid in English bond, dentilled top course and gabled coping.

The rectangular shaped plot, comprised of a central garden surrounded by a part-buttressed wall on all sides and two smaller slip gardens to South and East.

An open area to west containing large C20 glass houses. C20 concrete render apparent on the wall between the central and East slip gardens. The East wall has later C19 modifications to accommodate the Dairy Farm. 

Two doorways with shallow segmented brick heads in centre of long sides, third battened door in the North wall leads to the former Head Gardeners cottage. Late C18 or early C19 wrought iron gateway, leading into the estate parkland, in centre of North wall comprises single large gate with side panels and an overthrow, decorated with scroll-work.  

The wall remains substantially intact and the gated entrance to the estate, doorways into the garden and internal sub-division are surviving significant features.

Developer George Braithwaite argued in his planning statement that: “The new proposal would rationalise the layout of the site to improve access to dwellings, create a better functional relationship between dwellings, their associated curtilages and the retained listed structure within the curtilage; and resolve conflicts between the various planning permissions, the related S106 and the approved lay out."

Members of the public can share their views on the application by going to Babergh planning website using reference DC/18/00535

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.

Join In With Spring Clean

Dozens of volunteers from peninsula parishes are joining with this year’s Great British Spring Clean. 

Woolverstone and Stutton parish councils have organised a litter pick this coming weekend, March on Saturday, March 3, while Chelmondiston’s will be held on March 17.

The councils will provide litter-pickers. Gloves and bags, all you need to do is turn up. Children welcome with an adult.

Those volunteering at Woolverstone are asked to meet at 10.30am at Berners Village Hall, where everything will be issued. Simon Pearce is coordinating the litter pick.

Guests and staff from the Tiffers homeless bus are also lending a hand along the main road in that area.

Chris Leach is organising Stutton’s spring clean; volunteers are asked to meet at the Post Office corner at 10am, Chris can be contacted on 328939.

Chelmondiston PC have splt their spring clean in to two parts, with volunteers asked to meet either at the main village car park, next to thepost office, or at Pin Mill car park, at 10am at either. Call the clerk Jill Davis for more information.

Sarah Carter, Babergh public realm officer, said: “A quick litter pick can really improve the local community, is fun and gets people active outside, and is so satisfying as the results are instant.

“It’s a great way to meet up with friends and neighbours to arrange a group pick.”

Let us know if you are holding a litter pick. editorial@shotleypeninsulanewsand features.com

Some communities may intend to link their events to this -  find out more here http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

Horror As Sheep Slaughtered

Friday, February 23, 18.00

Three sheep have been slaughtered in Berners field between Woolverstone and Chelmondiston.

The grisly discovery was made this morning by local woman Louise Double who tracked down the owner Lucy Davies-Morris via social media.

Mrs Davies-Morris told SPNF: "I’m so upset I can’t believe it." 

Police have been to the scene of the butchered animals, where bloodied knives were recovered.

Rural crime officer Lee Andrew-Pearce is investigating and other similar incidents in nearby villages in north Essex and South Suffolk are being linked.

Mrs Davies-Morris told reporters: "When she told me they had been killed and how gruesome it was I got very upset and started crying.

“We went down there and as soon as we saw it, we called the police. It was horrifying.

“The sheep were found in a wooded area close to the field they were kept in.

“Their throats has been cut and they had been started to be skinned. They had even chopped the head from one of them.

“It was gruesome. I am so worried they will come back.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “At some point overnight between Wednesday, February 21, and Thursday, February 22, an unknown offender has cut the throats of three sheep that were grazing in a field situated off Berners Lane, before removing the carcasses and leaving them in a small wooded area next to the field where two of three sheep were also left partially skinned."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw any suspicious activity should contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting crime reference 37/10489/18 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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 February 20.

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.

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.

Holbrook Coastguard Called Out To Woolverstone

Holbrook Coastguard's rescue team was called out on an emergency shout last night after an overturned dinghy was reported   floating in the river Orwell near Woolverstone.

The Coastguard responded at around 6.30pm with fears there may have been people on board, or worse, they had gone overboard.

A two-hour search and local enquiries confirmed their had been no casualties and the team was stood down.

Two Coastguard emergency responders attended the initial shout, with another half dozen on stand by, all pleased with a positive outcome.

Holbrook Coastguard, based at the fire station, is a voluntary team with crew members often having to leave their day, or in this case evening jobs, to attend emergencies.

The Coastguard responded at around 6.30pm with fears there may have been people on board, or worse, they had gone overboard.

A two-hour search and local enquiries confirmed their had been no casualties and the team was stood down.

Two Coastguard emergency responders attended the initial shout, with another half dozen on stand by, all pleased with a positive outcome.

Holbrook Coastguard, based at the fire station, is a voluntary team with crew members often having to leave their day, or in this case evening jobs, to attend emergencies.

Death Cafe

Preparing for the worst is never a particularly palatable thing to do so being able to find support and help before the event can be comforting and helpful.

To have that conversation, quite often with strangers, needs coffee, tea, cake and biscuits hence the reason for a Death Cafe.

Jane Gould hosted the event at St Michael's Church,Woolverstone last November and another is planned shortly.

The idea is simply to go through all the issues death brings, for you and those left behind.

More to follow...

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