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Blaxhall Parish Council Newsletter

No 47 Autumn 2003

Your contact points

Parish Councillors and their involvement on sub-committees and other activities:

Chairman Phillip Dunnett, Vice Chairman Steve Smedley (Phillip and Steve are on all sub-committees),
Allotments - Jasper Dickinson, Bob Mackenzie.
Playing Field - Garry Borrett, Jasper Dickinson, Shirley Taylor.
Village Hall - Graham Bowles, Jasper Dickinson, Bob Mackenzie, Steve Smedley, Nigel Suckling
Parish Plan - Bob Mackenzie
Transport - Maureen Adie
Parish Clerk - Joyce Iszard 688452 (editor's comment - weekday office hours only please)

The Ship - Blaxhall's Sole Public House

The village protests against plans for the Ship

The Ship Planning Applications C03/1815 and C03/1816

The Parish Council has formally objected to Suffolk Coastal District Council on the proposals including the change of part of the Ship from public house to tourist accommodation. The Suffolk Coastal District Council's next Planning meeting, which may possibly hear the applications, is presently set for 9.00 - 4.00 on Wednesday 12th November, the public can attend but may not speak. Please look at the village noticeboards for more details nearer the time (also SCDC Planning administration 01394 444279).

Bonfire Night - Saturday 8th November

The bonfire will be lit at 6.00 p.m. followed by fireworks. Afterwards the usual soup, hot dogs and refreshments will be in the Village Hall. Everyone who comes is asked to donate fireworks - please take them along to Ed Pipe at the Forge in the week prior to the 8th so that he can plan his usual stunning display. If you have material for the bonfire please contact Tim Locker on 688618, or you can deliver it yourself in the usual place at the top of the field by the Village Hall - the field will be opened for the week prior to the Bonfire Night [editor's comment - this newsletter and attached draft parish plan report are incombustible].

Children Competition - all children please draw a picture for Bonfire Night and enter it into the competition and perhaps win a prize.

Kenny French Memorial

The Parish Council wishes to provide a memorial to Kenny French ("the Sheriff of Blaxhall") in the form of a beacon next to the village bonfire site. If you wish to make a personal donation to this memorial please contact Joyce Iszard 688452 (cheques made payable to Blaxhall Parish Council).

June 2004 Festival

The Parochial Church Council is planning The Patronal Festival of St Peter on the weekend of 26th and 27th June 2004, to raise funds for important Church restoration work. Attractions include a flower festival in the Church (with teas and refreshments), a Saturday evening of music, poetry and song, an art exhibition in the Village Hall and a local Blaxhall Crafts tent on the playing field. Further information nearer the time.

Blaxhall Christmas Party

Come along to the Blaxhall Christmas Party in the Village Hall on Saturday 13th December. The format of the event is still being organised so if you have any suggestions or wish to volunteer help contact Graham Bowles 688192.

Blaxhall August 2003 Fete

Steam Engine at Blaxhall Fete

Everyone in the village who helped to make the Fete such a big success this August has earned a very large Thank You. The event raised the great sum of £2151, which has been divided equally between the Church, Playing Field and Village Hall.

Bottle Stall at Blaxhall Fete

Blaxhall Parish Plan

Your comments on The Ship, collected as part of the May 2003 Parish Plan survey, were provided as information to the Suffolk Coastal District planners currently considering The Ship's partial change of use. Those views were also included in the Parish Council's objection to changes at the Ship. The Ship comments just applied to your views on one aspect of life in Blaxhall.

Parish Plan Display

To progress your views on all aspects of Blaxhall life, this Newsletter is accompanied by a first draft report on the Blaxhall Parish Plan and action plan which has been prepared by a group of Blaxhall volunteers (the "Parish Plan Steering Group") based on the May 2003 survey.

Please take a few minutes to read and comment on the draft report (details on how to comment are in the report).

Please also encourage others in your house to read and comment on the report.

A final draft of the report will be put before the Parish Council for consideration and adoption. Any comments you have on this first draft of the report, in particular approval of the proposed action plan, will enable Blaxhall to adopt a Parish Plan for use as guidance on the villagers' (your!) requirements for the future preservation and development of the village. Once adopted the Parish Plan would be subject to regular review based on consultation within the village.

A Parish Plan supported by the majority of the village will also significantly help in raising funds for village facilities from grant providing organisations such as the Lottery Fund and the Countryside Agency

You may also wish to volunteer assistance in preparation of the Parish Plan or to join one of the volunteer action groups. For more information contact Bob Mackenzie 688755, Steve Smedley, Tony Salisbury, Jonathan Cutting or Jacqui Oliver.

Playing Field

There is a vacancy for a new member on the Playing Field Committee. Will you volunteer or can you recommend someone else to help keep Blaxhall's well used playing field in good order? Contact Clara Jenkins on 688558.

Volunteers are also needed to complete last winter's work in clearing out the pit in the Playing Field. Just come along to the Work Parties on Saturday 10th January and Saturday 7th February from 10.00 a.m. bring along any tools you think will be useful - any queries give Clara a call on 688558.

Blaxhall Heath Work Parties

Lend a hand to help preserve Blaxhall's Heath on the regular volunteer working parties organised by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust - All the workdays are Saturdays 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. so bring refreshments.

Next workdays on 8th November, 13th December, 10th January, 14th February, 13 March and 17th April.

Please contact Terry Peake 01728 746004 for confirmation of the working place and also if the weather is wet.


Blaxhall's footpaths were voted as being one of the top attractions for the village (May 2003 Parish Plan survey). To ensure the footpaths remain a benefit to all, please notify your Parish Councillors of any problems you come across such as missing signs or difficulty in access.

Village Computer

The village computer is in the Youth Hostel and is available for use by any villager. Access the Internet, use the spreadsheet facilities or type your letters. Access is available after 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday or other times by arrangement. Contact Karen Hood, the acting warden, on 688206 (Nigel has moved) or Maureen Adie.

Have You Seen the Sheep?

Sheep at the church

St Peters Church Yard is currently home to three Blaxhall-Suffolk Cross Sheep as part of a management programme for the Churchyard. The Parochial Church Council instigated this by asking Suffolk Wildlife Trust to carry out a Wildlife and Habitat Survey. The Trust suggested that sheep could graze down areas of the Churchyard which, along with the human volunteers, helps maintain the Churchyard. The sheep will be moved around the Churchyard to "graze" restricted areas in rotation.

Sheep have been used for grazing and land management in this part of Suffolk for over 3000 years. And here is where your help could come in: there is a need for sheep hurdles. The shepherds tried to get second-hand ones by giving out a request on BBC Suffolk Radio, but with no luck.

So now villagers' help is being sought. Have you any old sheep hurdles? Or can you sponsor the purchase of one? Each hurdle cost £17. So far donations have been made for three hurdles but the sheep need a few more to make this viable. So if you are willing to help call Joy Shaw on 688309.

Art Exhibition

Joyce Iszard would like to take this opportunity to thank all the villagers who supported the Art Exhibition that was held to raise funds for the Church and "the Sheriff memorial" over the weekend of 18/19 October. For those of you who were unable to visit, you missed some beautiful pictures. As you will have read, Joyce will be helping to organise another one next year as part of the June 2004 Festival.


- events to be held in the Village Hall

Wednesday 5th November - Parish Council Meeting 7.30 p.m. villager attendance welcome.
Saturday 8th November - Bonfire Night at the Village Hall and Playing Field.
Friday 14th November - Parish Plan Archive Film Night 7.30 p.m. Free admission to see films on Blaxhall and Suffolk together with lively discussion on Blaxhall's Parish Plan during the interval. Booking not needed but for more information contact Bob Mackenzie 688755.
Friday 21st November - Church's Quiz Night in Village Hall for details contact Shirley Taylor 688220
Saturday 13th December - Blaxhall Christmas Party in Village Hall for details and offers of ideas and help contact Graham Bowles 688192.
Other Quiz Nights - many people attend the Church's popular quiz nights, now the Village Hall Committee is introducing additional quiz nights to raise funds for the Village Hall.
Friday 16th January- 7.30 p.m. tables for up to 6 people at £10 per table, tea and coffee available but bring other (stronger) refreshments and nibbles if you need - book your table via Steve Smedley 688751 or Graham Bowles 688192.

Other Regular Village Hall Events

Mondays 7.30 p.m. - Blaxhall Bowls Group cost £1 per evening (come along for a taster session)
Thursdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Blaxhall Art Group cost £2.50 half day / £4 per full day - Clara 688558
Thursdays 7.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Blaxhall Line Dancing Group cost £1 per evening (all are welcome)

Martlesham Park and Ride

Opening this winter with bus number 802 to Ipswich.

Suffolk Coastal's Travel Voucher Scheme for the severely disabled

The Suffolk Coastal District Council recognises that there are some people who, for reasons of severe physical disability, cannot access the benefit of reduced fare travel on conventional public transport. Eligible people can now apply for a book of vouchers, worth up to £35 annually, issued free of charge that can be used towards travel with participating community transport or taxi operators. Am I eligible for the Scheme? You are eligible for vouchers if you are at least 16 years old, are a permanent resident in the Suffolk Coastal District and your physical disability is of such severity that you are unable to use conventional public transport services. Please note that if you participate in the voucher scheme you will not be eligible for a "Suffolk Saver" bus pass, or a railcard. How do I use the Vouchers? The vouchers are valid for journeys that start and/or finish in Suffolk using community transport or a taxi company registered with the scheme but CANNOT be used on conventional public transport such as buses and trains. How do I apply? Telephone Finance Customer Services on 01394 444647, or email concessionary.fares @ or look for further details and application form download on

Some useful Internet websites - Suffolk County Council's website - Suffolk Coastal District Council's website - independent web site containing information on Blaxhall's activities, businesses and history.

The WARDROBE - Ladies Dress Agency, 6a High Road Saxmundham sponsored the paper for this newsletter.