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Blaxhall Newsletter

Autumn 2005 No.52 Edited by Nigel Suckling

Bonfire Night…

...this year 5th November actually falls on a Saturday and we’re holding our usual family bonfire and firework party on the Playing Field starting at 6.30pm. We hope that all villagers and friends will be there - entry by firework donation, to be left with either Eddie Pipe, The Forge, Church Road or Nigel Suckling, Vine Cottage, Church Road, during the week proceeding the event.

We would be grateful if you supplied one or two larger fireworks rather than lots of smaller ones - this would make for a more spectacular display!

Refreshments will be available in the Village Hall and this year there will also be a licensed bar ! There will be a competition for anyone under 15 years old. Paint or draw a bonfire night picture. Winners will get a prize.

Come along, enjoy the fun and have a great social evening. The field will be open from Friday for anyone wishing to add to the bonfire but please leave things alongside rather than on the fire. A working party on 22nd October at 10am will be clearing the bonfire area - volunteers welcome.

(Contact Gary Borrett)

Blaxhall Fete

from Clara Jenkins

A very big thank you to all those who helped us to make the grand total of £2103 ! This means that we have handed over more than £700 to each of the Church, Village Hall and Playing field—money that will be well spent to benefit the whole village.

Village Hall

Regrettably decorating work on the village hall ground to a halt during the summer but the painting work parties began again on 8th October and hopefully by the time you read this the new floor will have been laid. The new colour scheme is a real improvement, giving a much airier and lighter feel to the hall and the old fireplace has been opened up and is being restored to capture the authentic feel of the building. (NO open fires allowed, remember it’s a timber building!)

Thanks to everyone who has given time to the project. Volunteers are always welcome at work parties and the Village Hall Management Committee is looking for some new members who are interested in helping to progress the renovation and run events.

A regular programme of monthly events has been running since June 2004 and as at the 31 March 2005 these had contributed more than £1050 to the renovation fund.

Clearly its impossible to satisfy ‘all of the people, all of the time’ so we really want your ideas for interesting and fun events which will bring people out to support this important village amenity. The committee is meeting on 9 November to plan next year’s programme so please send your ideas to Steve Smedley, 688751 or

Decisions about the next stage of re-development will be made at the January meeting of the Management Committee - see Notice Boards for the date - as the Planning Permission expires in December 2006. The rejection of our Lottery Grant application means that we must find other funding in order to complete renovations of the kitchen and toilets. We’re progressing a number of options but what’s clear is that many organisations expect us to generate money locally that they will match with grants.

A self-build plan is being considered which means that the work will have to be competed in stages with massive help from the community.

Website/ Computer

Don’t forget Blaxhall has its own website found at, an excellent site run by Jonathan Cutting with contributions from Shane Pictor.

A computer with internet access is available for community use most days at the Youth Hostel.

Contact Steve or Angela on 688206 to book a session.

BAG Wins LHI Grant!

from Rod West

The Blaxhall Archive Group have recently been awarded a Local Heritage Initiative grant which will help the group produce, first, a book of photographs and text dealing with the social history of Blaxhall from about 1930 to the 1980s. (Many of these photographs you might have seen at the May exhibition in the village hall). The group also hopes to produce a DVD which will contain a mix of photographs, some sound recordings both oral history stories and songs, and possibly a certain amount of moving images, film, video or both! And finally, we are undertaking a little research project about farming in the parish over the last 300 years. This will include investigating old maps and manuscripts, aerial photos, some field walking and also talking to the present day farmers.

We are going to try and publish the book in the autumn of 2006 and the other two projects will run through next winter and finish in March 2007. We are still looking for photographs, drawings or paintings that record events in the parish - for example, we still do not have a picture of Pump Square or the Blaxhall windmill - there must be one out there somewhere! We also need help with computer work; putting together the DVD; oral history research and field walking; and many other interesting facets - so if you would like to be involved in this exciting community project please contact any member of the group which includes: Shane Pictor, Daphne Gant, Violet Skeet, Maggie Grenham, Ray Poacher or Rod West.

Fete - some appreciation

As so many people worked very hard to make the fete such a success I cannot mention them all by name but I would like to single out just a few. As usual Sheila Scopes did a fantastic job baking cakes and with her organising team, serving up very popular teas and refreshments.

She also sorted out all the bags of money, which flowed in at the end of the fete and worked out the balance sheet over the following days. Many thanks Sheila.

Tim and Tilly Locker took over the publicity and did a grand job in attracting a good crowd of people from in and out of the village. They also made £463 from the draw on the day. Joyce Iszard with Gary Borrett made nearly £400 on the bottle stall - this of course was thanks to all the bottles given by you, the villagers. Joyce has also done sterling work behind the scenes as Fete Secretary.

Finally the vegetable show gets better every year thanks to Maggie Grenham and her team.

Thank you very much everyone for all you have done and for your generosity in giving and making our traditional fete such a great success.

...and whilst we’re in ‘thanking’ mode, a big ‘thank you’ to the kind soul who has been cutting the grass around the bus shelter- its great to see such fantastic commitment to keeping our village looking tidy.

..and moving quickly on to..

Playing Field Working Party - 11th Feb 2006.

There’s always much to be done; hedges trimmed, molehills flattened and general tidying so why not join in - meet at 10am on the field.

Please contact Steve Smedley, if you are able to help either with specialist skills or simply a willing pair of hands. We know there’s a long way to go but the improvements during the past few months are a great start and sends the message that Blaxhall will have a village hall to be proud of - however long it takes!

Play Equipment

We want our children to enjoy playing safely on the equipment so the Playing Field committee arrange weekly inspections to check that everything is in good order. Recently the climbing frame scramble net was found to be showing signs of rot so it has been removed. A replacement is being sourced and will be installed as quickly as possible. Sorry for any missed fun!!

Macmillan Coffee Morning

from Amanda Long

Once again the fundraising day was a huge success, raising a record £1143. This was all due to the generous spirit of Blaxhall on the day and very much hard work before the event—making jam and marmalade; growing herbs, producing knitwear etc. We all had such a lovely day making a great contribution to such a worthy charity.

Many thanks to everyone involved especially John Gant for providing rides in the pony and trap.


Anglian Bus & Coach now provide the service through the village on the route from Leiston to Ipswich. Timetable details are attached and we draw your attention to the additional service providers whose details are displayed on the bus stop timetable.


 On 3 September two trestle tables went ‘missing’ from outside the Village Hall whilst an event was being set up. Will anyone who knows where they might be please contact Joyce Iszard or Steve Smedley.

Blaxhall Environment Group

from Maggie Grenham

The next meeting will be the AGM on Saturday 29th October at 3pm and will be held at Longfield Nursery. We will be talking sheep, hedges, ponds and bats plus lots of other items. Please come and join us.

Blaxhall Tree Warden

Blaxhall now has a new Tree Warden in Maggie Grenham. If you have any suggestions for future tree planting in the parish or would like advice on tree health, please contact Maggie. Or would you like to find and record Blaxhall’s Veteran Trees - Maggie would like to hear from you.

Weekly in the Village Hall

Monday evening: Carpet Bowls
Thursday morning and afternoon: Art Club
Thursday evening: Line Dancing.

Diary Dates

21st Oct Trafalgar Night Village Hall 7.30pm
2nd Nov Parish Council Meeting Village hall 7.30pm
5th Nov Bonfire Night Playing Field 6.30pm
10th Dec Christmas Party Village Hall

Your Parish Councillors

Maureen Adie
Gary Borrett 01728 687562
Graham Bowles 01728 688192
Philip Dunnett (Chairman) 01728 688660
Lynn Gash 01728 746425
Shirley Leeks 01728 688220
Bob Mackenzie 01728 688755
Steve Smedley 01728 688751
Nigel Suckling 01728 688317
Parish clerk Joyce Iszard 01728 688452
Tree Warden Maggie Grenham 01728 688611