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Community Connection: 8 June 2017 from Richard Hewitt

By the time you read this, we will know the outcome of the General Election. It certainly seems that the people of Bressingham and Fersfield have played their part as there has been a steady stream of voters throughout the day. Whatever the result, it seems certain that the required legislation of the next parliament will affect us all make changes to everyone’s lives, including those in rural Norfolk.

On a more local level, we had our June meeting of the Parish Council on Monday last.  The planning issue at which we looked concerned a vehicle workshop building at one of our unit sites.  This met with no objections.  We also considered the issue of parking in School Road – again.  We do face a considerable problem as anyone who uses School Road at breakfast and tea-times will be aware. There is little that we can do in terms of ‘enforcement’ so long as the law is not broken.  Sadly, there are regularly instances of unlawful motoring offences, and after discussion, the Parish Council decided, with some sadness, to request police involvement in order to attempt to prevent an accident.  The school itself has been very supportive and helpful, but the Headmaster and his staff have no jurisdiction beyond the school gates.

There was continued discussion about improving the facilities of our allotments.  John Kemp (Parish Council) and Michelle Lanchester (Chair of the Allotment Association) are working very hard to raise the quality of the profile of our allotment site.

You will remember our film evenings held in the summer in Fersfield Church, and we were very pleased to support Sophie Gosman in a similar venture for this year.  The Council agreed to make a grant towards the finances for this, and hope the community fond this as enjoyable as it was on the previous occasion.  Please keep watch for further details.

Please do bear in mind that we still badly need new faces on our Parish Council – could you be one of them? With my best wishes, Richard.

Bressingham and Fersfield History Group
Bressingham primary school children look for medieval graffiti in Bressingham Church
It was a fun and informative day (25 May) for Bressingham Primary School years 5 and 6 who visited Bressingham Church for a Medieval Graffiti Worskhop led by buildings archaeologist Matthew Champion. Escorted by two school teachers, fourteen children attended the morning session, and thirteen came to the church in the afternoon.
The children were asked to be archaeologists for the day and were instructed how to interpret the building and its contents so that they could understand how the church had changed over the centuries. Matthew encouraged the children to be observant by setting them several challenges such as mapping out the nave, pulpit, chancel and other areas in the church and he then questioned them about their purpose. The children had to look closely at the features and artefacts in the church: they had to count the number of faces and angels on the magnificently carved early sixteenth century bench ends, find all the locks on the church chests, and count the windows on the 14th century font.

Matthew asked the children if they thought graffiti was a good or bad thing; most thought it bad, some cleverly said it “depended”. Matthew explained that graffiti was condoned by medieval society, and often had spiritual or superstitious purposes such as to ward off evil. Matthew shone torches on the church walls, revealing lots of graffiti - some dating from when the church was constructed which fascinated the children. Before they left, Matthew gave the children worksheets with the alphabet in medieval script so these new graffiti hunters will be able to read graffiti when visiting other churches. The children also enjoyed jaffa cakes and lemonade!

Bressingham and Fersfield History group enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of Norfolk Archives in Norwich on 23 May. In ‘the green room’, Karen Chancellor and a colleague welcomed the group to the Archives and explained how we could access documents via the online catalogue, order original documents or maps, and look at digitized documents on microfiche. Karen stressed that all the staff are more than happy to assist visitors should anyone not know how to use some of the equipment such as microfiche readers.

We then moved to one of the heat and humidity controlled strong rooms and saw many rows of cabinets stacked with acid-free storage boxes containing the historical documents. Karen then escorted us to the main conservation room where frayed documents can be repaired. We were shown how wafer thin, delicate Japanese paper pasted with wheat glue to the damaged and frayed paper could prevent further decay. The group were fascinated by a large, beautiful 18th century estate map undergoing further restoration.

The visit culminated in viewing multiple Bressingham documents, some dating as far back as the 13th century, laid out (supported by Norfolk Archives cushions) on long tables for the group to read. Bressingham Tithe and Enclosure maps from the 19th century fascinated everyone.
The group would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding the visit.

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We enjoyed another excellent meeting on Monday 19th June 2017 with Kate Thurston who runs her business 'All Fudged Up' (https://www.facebook.com/allfudgedupnorfolk/) from her home in Fersfield.

It was a very hot evening, but we were all taken with Kate's passion for her fudge-making and enjoyed her commentary whilst making some fudge on a hot-plate under the hot stage lighting.

We found out that fudge originated from Baltimore in1886 when a failed attempt at caramel making started a whole new confection. Kate sells her fudge at craft events far and wide and also at the Lopham Farmers' Market. She also makes bespoke fudge on request for weddings and other events.

One thing Kate particularly enjoys is rising to a challenge to make original flavours for clients. These have included Marmite fudge and chilli and bacon (called death by chilli) fudge. Sometimes she has had to admit defeat and although she can make dairy-free fudge, she could not, despite making valiant attempts, make "Wheat free egg free dairy free pizza flavour fudge". The range is always increasing and Kate's recent innovations include a fudge shot glass which can be eaten after the shot!

At the end of the evening we had the opportunity to taste some fudge including that made on the night and many of us bought some more to take home.

The next meeting is Monday 17th July 2017 when Norma Howell will be telling us about Medical Detection Dogs. This is a wonderful chance to meet new people and learn about new things - do come and give us a try, we are a very  friendly bunch.

We still currently have spaces on our day trip on Friday 21st July 2017 to East Ruston Old Vicarage (Non –members welcome subject to availability) Leaving Bressingham village hall 11am.  Please contact Sharon Cole (details on link to programme below) if you wish to come - £20 per person. 

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting and would love to meet new members.
Click here to see our 2017/2018 Programme >  
THIS MONTH'S RECIPE - Sharon's Fruit Squares - serves 10

115g/4oz Olive Spread
2tbsp Honey
1 Beaten Egg
85g/3oz Ground Almonds
115g/4oz no-soak apricots (finely chopped)
55g/2oz coconut
85g/3oz Rolled Oats
55g/2oz Cherries chopped

Click here for the Method and to print off the recipe >>

Health Tips – Steam Inhalation - by Leo Pearce

Have you or members of your family and friends suffered a persistent cough and breathlessness this spring? I've been struck by the number of my friends and acquaintances locally who have experienced these kinds of respiratory symptoms. Of course, any persistent symptoms should be taken to the GP and investigated thoroughly, but there are also some things that can be done at home to ease symptoms. Many people find a steam inhalation helpful, especially with added eucalyptus, peppermint or other oils; breathing the steam from a bowl of hot water or in a nice steamy bath. The steam helps to break down mucus and lubricates the air passages, both of which help you to eliminate congestion. The warmth of the inhalation stimulates the blood supply to the area which can help to reduce inflammation. Another simple aid is to drink some ginger tea – ginger is not just good for relieving congestion, it also helps to reduce mucus production. If you've been affected, get well soon!

Wildflower of the Month- Dandelion Clocks - by Leo Pearce
I saw a number of dandelion clocks early one morning a couple of weeks ago. They were growing on Bressingham High Road at the edge of a field, overlooking the Waveney Valley. This is a photo of one of them. For many of us the sight of dandelion clocks prompts thoughts of 'one years seeds is seven years of weeds', and we busy ourselves obliterating them!
But pause for a moment, cast your mind back and recall the simple pleasure of clutching the stem and blowing the downy seedhead to tell the time with your dandelion clock. And take a moment to notice the fluffy, symmetrical beauty of this stage of the dandelion's life, which can be seen throughout the year in our locality – especially on my lawn!

How would you like to win £10 or £25?
Then join the 59 Club and also support your local Church. We have 7 spare numbers waiting for you – just telephone 01379 688331 or email Reg or Kay at regkaybrock@btinternet.com for further information.

Bressingham Steam & Gardens
Local resident's discount of 20% off a 1-3 person season ticket or 30% off a 4+ person from the same local address. Claim your discount by showing proof of residence (eg a recent utility bill) when buying your tickets. Visit their website for more information >

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Graffiti Project in Bressingham church begins, with Dr Matthew Champion
Bressingham Church Bench Ends project begins, assisted by Dr Richard Hayman
Wed 28   Visit to Feline Care and Swallow Aquatics/Garden Centre
Deliver goodies and then move on to Swallow - No charge
Sun 2   Pink Ladies Tractors + visit to Bomber Group Museum
Thu 6   Research training at NCC Historic Environment HQ, Gressenhall - contact 01379 687729 for more info
Tue 11   Afternoon Club - usual games, quiz and crafting
Sat 22   Evening Event with BBQ – details later
  HLF Project Celebration: Church Ale weekend with medieval re-enactment in Bressingham Churchyard and church, assisted by troupe of professional historical medieval interpretation actors
Tue 8   Afternoon Club – Master class 2 in crocheting
Tue 22   Coach to Horning + 1 ½ hour Boat Trip on Broads cost
and details later (possibly £20 maximum per person)
Tue 12   Afternoon Club
Tue 19   Lunch at South Lopham White Horse
Tue 10   Afternoon Club
Bressingham Church, Heritage Lottery Fund Building Repairs Blog by Linda Holly
Welcome to the Bressingham Church Restoration Blog!  It's about the Heritage Lottery Funded repair works to the church which began on 2 May 2017.  There's a direct link to the Church Blog on our top menu so please use this link to read all about what's happening.

AFTERNOON CLUB - 13 June by Kay Brock
A very noisy afternoon started as usual with our quiz this time won by Gladys a new member and another nonagenarian. Then the men left the room (we don't know why!!) as we began our first session of chair based exercises lead by Brenda. After 15 minutes and several grunts, groans, ooo's and arghs later and we all felt a little better and said what a good idea it was so we will be having this as part of our opening each month. Please don't let it put you off coming as it is very very easy and you need only take part if you want to.

The afternoon continued with the usual scrabble players and other members enjoy a chat with tea or coffee and cake. The majority of members joined Jan with her first "Masterclass" in crocheting which was very well received. It took us a while to come to terms with the different terminology but by the end of the afternoon we knew that there were chains, doubles, half trebles and trebles and we will have to practice a lot before we have our next "Masterclass in August".

We always try to change the events for each meeting and we would like to have a few more people to join our Club - we are not just a knitting or sewing group - so if you think you may like to come along please feel free (more men would be especially welcome) - your first meeting is free and we always have a good supply of tea, coffee and homemade cakes.

Postcard of Bressingham Church by Diana Burroughes
A lovely coloured postcard of the church is now on sale in the church at 50p.  This was taken by Mervyn Porter with the help of Mervyn Lambert.  Mervyn and Claire Porter have very kindly had 1000 printed and have donated them to the church for which we are all most grateful.

As many of you will know, the new broadband cabinets, fibre and power are all in place and connected.  However, we are unable to make use of this yet because insufficient number of local people have expressed an interest via the website link!  We have dropped to the end of the queue. PLEASE MAY WE ASK EVERYONE INTERESTED IN IMPROVED INTERNET QUALITY TO EXPRESS AN INTEREST IN THE UPDATED FACILITIES BY USING THIS LINK.  Thank you!

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED from Richard Hewitt
You will know that we have a citizens’ watch system in our parishes, which is designed to help protect our homes and other properties from criminal activity. Michelle Lanchester has said that we need more volunteers to make this scheme more effective. If you would like to help or obtain further details, please contact PC 1224 Jim Squires, on 01953 423773 or 07766 990811.

Click here to email Jackie
YOGA - Mon 9.30-11.00 am - Bressingham Village Hall
Hatha yoga, taught by Jackie Samways, a British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher. Suitable for all abilities, complete beginners to experienced, and all ages. For more info please contact Jackie on 01379 650513/mobile 07868 314805 or jackiecornish@live.com
GENTLE, CHAIR-BASED YOGA - Monday 11.15-12.15
Ideal for those unable to attend a general class AND anyone interested in a gentler approach to yoga postures, meditation, breath work and relaxation. Mainly chair-based, with some standing to encourage increased joint mobility, improve circulation, confidence and strength and general well-being. For details contact Jackie Samways,details above.
Various teams play at Bressingham on Saturday mornings and Sunday. Teams from U7 up to U16 age groups with coaching for girls and boys starting from 5 years old. Contact Mark Channell by email at markv414@hotmail.com or call T: 01379 650591.
All enquiries re becoming a member and use of the court to
Brenda Webb T: 01379 688375 or email
The course (open at all times) is in Village Hall Car Park. Anyone in the community is welcome to play - Bring your own boules.

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