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COMMUNITY CONNECTION- 27 November by Richard Hewitt
Unsurprisingly, the matter of the development of the ‘Harvest House’ site on the A 1066 is still a huge local issue. This is not surprising – the intention to put a large number of tall silos, and other buildings, in our midst, is contentious enough, without some of the other big issues that surround the proposal. Many people will know that two of the major strands to this matter are:
1. The unsuitability of the proposed development, its access and detrimental effects on our locality
2. The nature of the planning ‘process’ we have had to endure.

The two strands come together, of course, because an unsatisfactory (to say the least) planning process has led to the decision by South Norfolk District Council’s Planning Department that planning permission be granted, subject to approval for the access issues to be debated in a planning committee meeting in December. We also await any further possible conditions being attached to the scheme.  I know it’s complicated – but there may be a final opportunity in the next 24 hours for anyone who wishes to submit an e-mail to South Norfolk District Council Planning Department about the access issues. The closing date for comments is 27 November (yes, today) but the SNDC website states electronic communication with Planning is not possible on the 26 & 27 November!  Our Clerk is contacting SNDC stating our expectation that e-mails received on Monday (28 Nov) will be accepted.

Submissions Bressingham and Fersfield Parish Council has made to SNDC on the Harvest House issue include a Tree Preservation Order request (TPO) for forty threatened trees on the site, a communication deprecating the omission from SNDC’s planning ‘process’ of any reference to Fenner’s Farm, the hugely-regarded home on the edge of Fersfield (a major local employer and an organisation that should statutorily have been considered) and an extensive document, compiled in conjunction with members of our community, that details the process content and the unsatisfactory ‘progress’ since it all started. We must give every opportunity for common sense to prevail: we need development, but not this!  I am really concerned about the consequences for our community if this development proceeds on its present course – particularly for those who live within the immediate vicinity.  I would ask you to look in Friday’s ‘Diss Express’ (25 November) where you can read an excellent article on this issue, and the outstanding efforts that one of our stalwarts is making to support our treasured environment.  

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.

Police budget 2017/18 consultation | Norfolk PCC
A message from your Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green:
As your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), it’s my job to set the policing budget for Norfolk and, with it, how much you contribute through council tax. 60% of Norfolk’s policing budget is funded by the Government; your council tax contribution makes up the rest. With such a significant contribution coming from your pocket, I want all Norfolk residents to have a say on how that funding is used. Please spare a few minutes to take my online survey. If you’d like a hard copy of the consultation information pack and survey sent to you, or require the information in another format, please get in touch. You can also share your views on 01953 424455, by email to TellLorne@norfolk.pnn.police.uk or by writing to me at OPCCN, Building 8, Falconers Chase, Wymondham, NR18 0WW. Follow this link - it only takes a few minutes to complete the survey.

Bressingham and District Ladies Group - New members always welcome

Monday’s meeting was a very Royal affair; with Rachel Duffield holding court As Queen Elizabeth I. I met Rachel on her arrival, & shook hands with a small, pretty , vivacious woman who was decades away from Queen Elizabeth I, however the transformation, which took less than 15 minutes, was remarkable.

The jeans were discarded and replaced with a shapeless linen shift, which once could’ve contained flour. This garment turned out to be the foundation to the history of Queen Elizabeth I through her wardrobe. It wasn’t the shock of Rachel’s lack of clothing, but her “teeth” which captured our attention; I say teeth, which were more blackened stumps, with some green for good measure. Elizabeth lost her own teeth from eating sugar; sugar being another sign of wealth, would have been eaten at every meal. Rachel’s teeth were perfect, she’d used stage decaying make-up, which looked far too real. Her face powdered white, which was the custom of the day in 1574. A lead based powder, probably used to cover her poor complexion from smallpox. Blue veins were painted in, to give the illusion of fine skin, and may have given way to the term that royalty had blue blood in their veins. Her red lipstick, not something to be found in Boots, was made from crushed cochineal beetles. Elizabeth wore many fine wigs, after having her hair cut off, due to the smallpox or nits.

From the shapeless linen shift, came a large 5-hooped skirt named a farthingay, used to show off the fabric of the dress. After this came the Bum Roll, a padded moon shape pillow, containing horse hair. This was used to inflate the hips, and spread the weight of the fabric for walking. Layer upon layer of decorative un-cut fabric were added. Fabric being the wealth of the time, in today’s money costing £1.000 per metre, so nothing was wasted. The more fabric in the skirt the more wealthy you were, so Queen Elizabeth had the very best. Most garments had drawstring fastenings, but they also used hundreds of pins, so not to damage the fabric.
The question of romance came up, thinking about all those layers, and pins, Rachel pointed out that undergarments hadn’t been invented yet!

Thank you Rachel for a great evening, you made history fun, and gave us a thirst to know more about Elizabeth I. For more information go to http://www.elizabethi.org/contents/portraits/
Sharon Cole
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.


from Sharon Cole

Click here to read and print off the recipe for Sharon's delicious Gingerbread


The autumn weather until now has been kind enabling the autumn crops to be drilled on time and in good condition.  Any wheat stubbles left will now be used for next year’s crop of Sugar Beet, or a spring crop of cereals. We are still very busy applying fertiliser to the fields, ready for next year’s spring crops. This year’s 2016 harvest of Sugar Beet will not set any records, and may well result in a possible sugar shortage. The factory in Bury St Edmunds could run out of beet to process by early January, when normally it would keep processing well into Feb and even early March!

British Sugar are looking for new growers to join the industry.  Sugar Beet make a great break crop and help with the battle against Black Grass.  They also help spread our work load bringing more work to the spring (cultivations and drilling). 2017 sees the end of the ‘sugar regime’. This means the market for sugar worldwide will no longer be regulated.

On a wet Saturday the Dunston Harriers visited Fersfield.  The Horses and Hounds looked magnificent and despite the cold and wet... spirits were high, aided by a glass of port. 

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.

This month will see a change as Alan's moving into the village full time from 7 November. I don't think he's offering a 24 hour service, but it means he'll be at work whatever the weather. 
Times of opening :
Mon - Fri 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 7.30am - 1.00pm
Sunday 8.30am - 1.00pm
The home cooking in the shop is looking as good as ever, and he's hoping to introduce suet puddings soon.  In the picture he's showing his popular toffee treacle pudding, and my favourite Bakewell tart. I bumped into Elena and Finlay in the shop while she was taking advantage of the eat/drink in part of the shop.  Elena is new to the area and a regular visitor to the coffee bar, while she's waiting for her son to finish school. She likes going there because Alan's a friendly chap who serves great coffee, and it's a good place to meet the locals! 

What's Growing in December - by Leo Pearce
On a recent ramble I was struck by the golden glow of wild crab apples, lit up by the early winter sunshine. As well as the apples still clinging to the tree, there was a pile of windfalls on the ground beneath. These apple trees can result from seeds deposited by a passing bird, or even an apple core thrown from a passing car.
Apple pips do not grow true to the variety of their parent, so the apples are unlikely to be a recognisable variety. That doesn't mean they can't be used – as well as providing a food source for wild life, they are great for making jams. They are rich in pectin, which allows the jam to gel. The pips also contain cyanide, but you would need to chew hundreds of them to experience ay harm! Apples have long symbolised abundance, prosperity and fertility, and of course erotic love!
Not so long ago neuroscientists told us that the brain stopped making new cells in adulthood. Rather gloomy for anyone those of us over 25 years old! But, according to a psychologist, recent studies have established that the brains ability to heal and make new connections is far greater than doctors realised. In fact the brain grows new brain cells throughout our lives, the brain can renew itself!
We can increase the rate of our brain cell growth by three to five times at any age by keeping it and our bodies active, reducing our sugar intake and ensuring a balanced, vitamin rich diet.
(Cortright Brant 2015 The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life Psyche Media)

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Tue 13   Afternoon Club Christmas Party, 1-4.30pm Bressingham Village Hall
Tue 10   Afternoon Club, 2-4 Bressingham Village Hall
On 17 October a full church said goodbye to Brenda Oates who, until she moved to Devon in spring 2013, lived in Bressingham for 48 years. Her cremated remains were buried with her husband John who died in 1992. Brenda and John lived firstly at The Highlands in High Road, and then just one night before John died they moved to Waveney View further down the road.
Their children Rosemary and Martyn their children went to the village school and although it was a sad occasion it was lovely to see them both, with some of their families back in the village. A reception took place in the village hall after the service which was taken by the vicar the Rev'd Wendy Evans. Brenda had been a hard working member of the village holding coffee mornings, car boot sales etc for various organisations. She was a wonderful supporter over the years of the village hall, the school and especially the church. She was greatly missed when she moved to be nearer Martyn and had been driving up to the time when she had a stroke 11 weeks before her death.
by Diana Burroughes
On Friday 11th November when I was visiting the church a parishioner drew to my attention that some lead was on the ground amongst the cremated remains burial plots. I knew at once what had happened. It was easy to see where the ladder had been placed as the gutter on the west side of the porch was broken but I had to go inside the church to see how much lead had gone because the roof cannot be seen from the outside. We had had heavy rain overnight so there was a considerable amount of water to clear up. On visiting the neighbours we were able to say with some certainty that the theft had happened on Wednesday/Thursday night 9th/10th November. I had last been in the church on the Wednesday morning. My biggest hurt has come from the fact that a grave stone has been broken in two. You can have no idea what it was like for me having to phone her daughter and tell her the news. Tyre marks can be seen from something, but the gate is too narrow for a vehicle. Also there are many deep holes in the grass area and various bits of lead about. It has naturally been reported to the Police and they did send an officer out. Yes, the lead did have Smartwater on it. Yes, it was insured, but in the case of lead thefts, unless something has changed we will only be able to claim up to £5k of all costs including replacement of the gravestone. This will be a long, long way short of what it will cost.

Bressingham Church is currently in the ‘Development Phase’ with the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £249,000 grant to make the building watertight. Your input will demonstrate community consultation, helping this medieval building receive a grant so it can survive for future generations. Please complete our survey - Click Here to print off your survey as a pdf or Click Here to complete it as a Word document and then please e-mail your responses to hollyjl@btinternet.com or phone Linda Holly: 01379 687729 or drop it through Linda's letterbox at The Highlands, High Road, Bressingham. Many thanks.

St Andrew's Church, Fersfield
PLUS ....... on Christmas morning, there will be our traditional and very informal Family Service, starting at 10.30 and led by Richard "I'll let you go and get the sprouts on soon" Hewitt.  Come and join us, it's a lovely service! All our efforts at the moment are directed at raising money to repair the wall which was so badly damaged by rainwater. Repairs to mediaeval buildings always come with a high price tag but we are hopeful of being able to start soon on the first phase of the repair works. Your support during the past year has made this possible and so we would like to say a huge Thank You for all the help you've given us, you've been absolutely great!
Richard (Hewitt) and Jan (Sumpter)

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.

Click here to email Jackie
YOGA - Mon 9.30-11.00 am - Bressingham Village Hall
A small yoga group has been running for many years - Hatha yoga is taught by Jackie Samways, a British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher. She has many years experience in practising and teaching yoga and continues to further her knowledge, through training, in order to pass on the wonderful benefits of yoga. The benefits include gaining physical flexibility, suppleness and strength achieved by asana (postures) together with pranayama (breathing exercises) to encourage full use of the lungs and meditation/relaxation to create a calmer mind and greater sense of well-being. The class is suitable for all abilities, complete beginners or those with some experience, and all ages. For more info please contact Jackie on 01379 650513/mobile 07868 314805 or email jackiecornish@live.com
GENTLE, CHAIR-BASED YOGA - Monday 11.15-12.15
Also held at Bressingham Village Hall, this is ideal for those who are unable to attend a general class AND anyone who is 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.

There are various teams playing at Bressingham on Saturday mornings and Sunday. The teams start from U7 and go up to U16 age groups with coaching for girls and boys starts from 5 years old upwards. For more information 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 is in Village Hall Car Park. Anyone in the community is welcome to play.  Please bring your own boules.
What about playing on our Community Petanque Court? Open at all times

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