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Road Information, 22 February 2017 by Richard Hewitt
The Fersfield/Kenninghall Road via Fersfield Common

Many Bressingham/Fersfield (and beyond) residents will by now have realised that we cannot currently drive the direct route to Kenninghall via Fersfield Common.  This is due to roadworks just over the Kenninghall border.  The work, as a Highways issue, is being overseen by Norfolk County Council.  The first indication we had of this work was the rather creative array of ‘road closed’ and ‘diversion’ notices in Fersfield Street and beyond.  We have a good relationship with the Highways Manager for our area, and I asked why, on this occasion, the Bressingham & Fersfield community had received no prior notification of the closure.  The reply was that it was in Kenninghall and Kenninghall residents had been notified ……….. I pointed out that many people in our parishes who make the journey to Kenninghall for the school, doctors’ surgeries, shops ....... and access to the A11 had been greatly inconvenienced without having had prior notification.  We very much hope that in future there will be consultation.  For now, please note that direct access to Kenninghall via Fersfield Common (and vice-versa) is not available for 4 weeks from 20 February, according to the roadside notice!  We will need to access Kenninghall via the A1066 and North & South Lopham during this time.

We will shortly be looking closely at our road and ‘pavement’ surfaces to recommend any post-winter repairs to  the Highways Dept of the County Council.  If you have any concerns about pot-holes, erosion or other road break-up please do let us know; please give us a clear location and indication of the problem so that out ‘list’ is as complete as possible. Thank-you.
COMMUNITY CONNECTION - 7 February 2017 by Richard Hewitt

Last month’s item about our speed metres has caused interest amongst our community and contributed towards a growing feeling that there should be a review of speed limit arrangements for our roads. I have to agree that the statistics we collected made worrying reading: we know that reduced speed leads directly to fewer accidents – serious or otherwise. If drivers cannot moderate their speeds themselves – within already restricted areas in most cases, then we will have to take further action to reduce the limit still further – many places now have speed limits of less than 30 mph in inhabited areas. At yesterday’s Parish Council meeting we agreed to put this matter on the agenda for March (6 March at 7 pm in the Village Hall): we would be delighted to have community members with us for this.

Other items from yesterday’s meeting (one of the ‘intermediate’ meetings at which we try to deal with administration and delegated matters) included four planning applications for our comment – it’s important to remind everyone that we are ‘statutory consultees’, and are asked for an opinion, something that is available for any member of the community to make – decisions are made by South Norfolk District Council as the responsible authority. We do take this process very seriously, and attempt to play a full part when our villages’ interests are at stake! We reported on the ongoing matter of heavy lorries, that service the recently-built chicken unit in Kenninghall, using our weight-restricted roads and Fersfield village as a route to the A1066. We are working with our neighbouring parish councils to resolve this complex issue.

We had heard from CPRE (the organisation concerned with the protection of rural England) and at March’s meeting will look at strengthening our ties with and supporting their work. In addition to the possibility of being very helpful to us right now, there are bound to be critical future issues where their input will be vital both locally and nationally.

We are very pleased that the road outside Fersfield Church has been improved by making proper entrances to the two cemetery gates, remodelling the verge and putting in protective bollards.  Over the years, this area has been churned up to an awful extent by heavy lorries, particularly those passing in opposite directions at this point. People may now visit a loved-one’s resting place without having to trudge through a quagmire at the gates - big thanks to Gary Overland (Norfolk CC Highways) and his team for designing, co-ordinating and carrying out this work for us.

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.


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 The Bressingham Methodist Chapel

Many of you will have heard that Bressingham Methodist Chapel is due to be closed later this year.  The building will most probably be put on the property market. I have spoken to the Superintendent of the Thetford (Methodist) Circuit, and he has explained the reasoning for this. In order to be operational, a Methodist chapel requires at least six registered members: Bressingham is now down to three. Key members, who have played a huge part in the life of the chapel and the villages, have recently announced their retirement, and there seems to be no-one to replace them.

I do understand the management issues of critical mass and viability; this does not diminish my sadness that Bressingham & Fersfield stand to lose yet another facility. As a building Bressingham Chapel is one of our few remaining public assets, which has always been available to share across the community. As a religious and social ‘health’ centre, it has been of huge value.  Many of you will remember the Sunday schools held there – which were so valued and enjoyed by parents and children from all sections of the community. At present, in addition to its resident congregation, the Chapel is home to a multi-denominational group who meet to enjoy praise and worship. I do feel it is sad to contemplate the loss of yet another rural amenity.

My purpose in writing is to make sure that we all realise that this closure situation has arisen, and to ask anyone who would be interested in joining (I’ll risk saying that I don’t think it would mean going to church every week)/supporting the work of the chapel to make themselves known to the membership team, or the Superintendent, David Ely, on 01379 642791.


At last a long Winter! Some repeated frosts are a welcome sight, they will help us prepare the land better come the spring. The frosts help break up the cloddy soils and minimise the cultivations needed for spring sown crops.

The sugar beet are now all delivered to the factory and soon the plume of steam from Bury factory will disappear from our horizon. Luckily, the beet have escaped the frosty weather too which can sometimes cause problems at the factory.

A busy time now fast approaches as all the winter stubbles can soon have their fertiliser applied ready for sowing the spring crops.

Some of you may have noticed potatoes already planted !...  all safely covered with polythene.
The Wood Pigeon will soon have little to feed on, sugar beet tops will have gone and there will be no berries left on the Ivy. This leaves only the Oil seed rape....

Bressingham and District Ladies Group
New members always welcome

Ben Potterton (Blacksmith’s Cottage Nursery, Dickleborough) will talk on Sri Lanka at our March meeting

Visitors and new members are always most welcome to our meetings which are held in Bressingham Village Hall on the 3rd Monday of each month, 7.30pm for 7.45pm unless stated. Annual membership £20 - Visitors £3.
1 Jar Lemon Curd
4 Eggs
8oz Self Raising Flour
8oz Caster Sugar
8oz Margarine or Butter
2oz Ground Almonds
Cream together butter & sugar.
Add eggs, almonds &and lemon curd.
Fold in the flour.
Cook in 2 loaf tins, Fan 180° for 40-45 mins
Dissolve juice of 1 lemon, & 2oz caster sugar & drizzle over warm cake. Mmmm .... lovely!

Memories of Stone Lane farm, Fersfield - from Sarah Roberts
As part of proposals to restore the house on the bend at Stone Lane, Fersfield, Mrs Dorothy Smith recalls some memories which may be of interest.
Memories of Dorothy (nee Deveraux) and Brian Smith,
recorded by Christine Murton, 30 August 2016
Following our visit with Dorothy and Brian Smith on 30th 0f August 2016, I confirm Dorothy grew up in the house on Stone Lane, at the time they simply referred to it as the Deveraux House Stone Lane, Fersfield. The family moved there in 1945 from South Lopham. She lived there with her Parents Violet and Fred Deveraux and her brother Tommy until she married Brian Smith in the early 1960s. Both Dorothy and Tommy went to Bressingham School.
Fred Deveraux was a river dredger based at East Harling, and a regular at Bressingham Bowls Club. Dorothy’s mother remained in the house with Tommy after the death of Fred until around 1974, as a widow. The then owner, Gerald Worby charged no rent. Dorothy states he always treated the family well and speaks very fondly of her time living at the house. In 1974 Violet and Tommy moved to Olsens farm (now Holdsworth farm, Fersfield), where Tommy became a farmhand. Click to read more >. If anyone else has any memories or information about the property at Stone Lane (opposite Poplar Tree farmhouse) I would like to hear them. Please ring Tel: 01379 687705.

The New Year has brought good and bad news from the shop. There was a break in two weeks ago in the middle of the night. Thankfully, the alarm worked and the culprits ran off after causing some damage. We understand that the Barn Nursery also had unwelcome visitors that night, no doubt the same people. 
Times of opening :
Mon - Fri 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 7.30am - 1.00pm
Sunday 8.30am - 1.00pm
The good news is that December was a busy month, and Alan has started the new year with a new selection of Haggis, neeps and tatties pies to help us celebrate Burns'  night on 25 January. A bargain at £2:00 each. 

It'll soon be Valentine's Day, and you'll be able to get some lovely flowers, choccies and bubbly for the special person in your life. 

One of the community posters currently in the shop is about the new community defibrillator coming to our villages. It's a fantastic opportunity for us all, you can find the contact details elsewhere on the website.

HEALTH TIP from Leo Pearce

February is the month to give some thought, and a little tender loving care to affairs of the heart! A healthy heart needs to be put through its paces, so keep active! You don't have to spend a fortune in the gym, there are lovely walks right on your doorstep.

Diet is another factor – your heart loves lots of water and fresh veg. A little red wine can also be welcome! While you're enjoying more exercise and a healthy diet, involve a friend or two – maybe a Valentine's walk and lunch! Company is good! It benefits your mental health, reducing stress. And that's good for your heart. Heartfelt wishes for a Happy and Healthy Valentines day to you and your loved ones!

Wildflower of the Month - by Leo Pearce
Do you have a February birthday? The the violet is your birthflower. Although the books speak of them flowering in April and May, dog violets are in full bloom now in my Bressingham garden. Despite being uninvited visitors, their delicate purple faces are a welcome sight. They may look delicate, but they are strong enough to brave their blooms to the coldest weather. As a woodland plant, they brighten the shadiest areas.
Why are they called dog violets? Apparently this refers to their lack of scent, as opposed to sweet violets. Their heart-shaped leaves make them the perfect representation of love in this Valentine's month. Not just pretty faces, they are also edible and healing. The petals are often candied for decorating confections. They have been used in poultices to ease skin and eye problems.

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Tue 14   Afternoon Club
Tue 11   Afternoon Club
Sat 22   Guided walk and talk by landscape historian, Professor Tom Williamson, inaugurating Bressingham & Fersfield Historical Society. (Charismatic, fascinating speaker!)
Graffiti Project in Bressingham church begins, with Dr Matthew Champion
Bressingham Church Bench Ends project begins, assisted by Dr Richard Hayman
Sat 6   7.30 pm, Bressingham Church: South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band - £10 including refreshments
Tue 9   Afternoon Club
Tue 23   Guided tour and instruction at Norfolk Archives for History Society members - contact 01379 687729 for more info
Thu 25   Bressingham Primary School children take part in Graffiti Project workshop
Tue 9   Afternoon Club
Thu 6   Research training at NCC Historic Environment HQ, Gressenhall - contact 01379 687729 for more info
  HLF Project Celebration: Church Ale weekend with medieval re-enactment in Bressingham Churchyard and church, assisted by troupe of professional historical medieval interpretation actors

Following a suggestion from Allan Byrne at the end of last year we were successful to be awarded a community defibrillator from the British Heart Foundation. As part of the agreement for getting this very important piece of equipment we must advertise and also train 10 people a month to use it. Training will be via a video and practical work in the Village Hall.

We are very fortunate to get this piece of life saving equipment so we would ask all of you to think carefully about becoming a trained operator. If you do not like the idea of actually using this machine you can still come along and watch the video as one day you may have to help someone who is using the machine.

If you would like to put your name down for this worthwhile cause then please call Allan Byrne on 01379 688452 or Reg Brock on 01379 688331 or email regkaybrock@btinternet.com.

UPDATE AS OF 31/01/17 - An introductory meeting will be held in early March to outline the training programme - we would like as many people as possible to attend this meeting where details of the training will be explained. Date and time will be posted here later.

AFTERNOON CLUB - 14 February
The Afternoon Club was full of fizz in more ways than one when we celebrated our 1st Birthday. We had a Valentine quiz which was enjoyed by all and brought a lot of oohs and aahs as questions were answered. Jane did exceptionally well and scored 9/10 and won a bird feeder. As it was St Valentine's Day we had a lovely cake with red hearts on made by Sharon to go with the beautiful heart shaped biscuits made by Stella. Sue was chosen to cut the cake and blow out the candle.
A group of ladies began making catnip mice which we will present to the Feline care charity later this year along with other items which the members will collect over the time.Some of these mice were sewn, some knitted and although some could be crocheted nobody tried that method today.Ted started his hand bell workshop and several ladies joined Ted for their first lesson in bell ringing. The first session went well and we are hoping for them to get to a good enough standard by Christmas to be able to play some tunes at the Christmas party.

The rest of the members carried on with their usual activities of playing scrabble and other games before we realised that the time was up and everyone went away saying what a good time they had had.

If you have been thinking of giving us try why come along and join us. Your first meeting is free of charge. For more information please contact Kay on 01379 688331 or email regkaybrock@btinternet.com

Postcard of Bressingham Church by Diana Burroughs

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.

Bressingham Church, Heritage Lottery Funding update

Following a successful ‘first round’ bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in late 2015, most of 2016 was taken up with background investigations in our ‘Development’ phase bid for almost £250,000 to make Bressingham Church watertight. Overall, it was a busy year, with our architect, Nicholas Warns, and builders ‘opening up’ the church to check the extent of roof damage, and a team of consultants - including Bat experts, an archaeologist and a building historian – providing background information so our architect could provide accurate costings for repairing and relaying the roofs and replacing all rainwater goods.  

Our ‘second phase’ bid was finally submitted in December, 2016.  In the next few months we will hear whether HLF is happy with our bid.  Once we have their approval, we then need to submit a couple of further requirements (March-April 2017) before building works can actually begin in May, 2017.

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.

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 >

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.

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