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Photo by Sylvia Roberts Photo by Sylvia Roberts Photo by Sylvia Roberts



The next Parish Council Planning Meeting will be on 6th October in Bressingham Village Hall, starting at 7pm. To read the full agenda click here and included in the items for review is:

2014/1913 5 Common Road Bressingham Norfolk IP22 2AX
 Proposal : 2 storey extension and alterations to existing single storey dwelling

PARISH PARTICLES by Leo from the PC - 14 September 2014

At this time of year, birds having finished nesting, vegetation starting to die back and the prospect of winter rains ahead our thought turn to....ditches! Without them this landscape would be much less usable; we all benefit from them. But they do need to be maintained, and this is the time to get down and dirty with ditch clearing!

Three members of the PC attended a public meeting in the Village Hall on The Chequers proposed change of use, including Linda who had been put forward by the PC in July, as a source of PC Admin Support. We understand that comments are still being taken from the public on this application which is likely to go to the planning committee on October 5th, so still time to register your opinion.

The PC currently has 2 vacancies, so if you're keen to learn more about the villages and support your neighbours contact Mike.   PC elections are also due to be held in May 2015 – why not stand?

INFOBOX 2 - Parish Councillors
Who can be a Parish Councillor?

  • A British, Commonwealth, or European Union citizen
  • Over 18 years old
  • An elector in the Parish for at least a year, or
  • Lived within three miles of the Parish boundary for at least a year, or
  • Worked mainly in the parish for at least a year

Who can't be a Parish Councillor?

  • Anyone with a bankruptcy restriction or interim order
  • Anyone working for that Parish Council
  • Anyone convicted of an offence with a prison sentence of more than three months
Plus ....
The Parish Council would like to know if you regularly have problems with water pressure and/or supply.  If so, please let us know.  Please contact Janet Delasalle
T: 01379 687973
or email janet@delasalle.eu

MEET PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY Interviews and photos by Liz Handy
Deborah and her husband Michael have many new things happening in their lives. They have recently moved down from Yorkshire and Deborah was ordained this July in Norwich Cathedral.   Michael worked as a Teaching Support Assistant in a school in Newcastle with a range of children including those with special needs. He still does their website as well as for other Charitable Organisations.  Deborah had a business as Clinical Director of Northumbria Counselling and Psychotherapy.  Deborah has been employed in a variety of  roles including setting up and management of projects, counselling services and housing projects for many years. 

Deborah has just spent two years in Theological College at Mirfield in West Yorkshire living alongside a monastic community. They love Diss and find it a most welcoming place. They  love the sea and walk beside it when they have the chance. They have recently discovered Gorleston which is luckily near Diss. Deborah has visited Bressingham and Fersfield mainly times in the past few months - and has officiated at the regular services as well as baptisms, weddings and funerals. Both Deborah and Micheal hope to come to the Harvest Festival Supper for Bressingham and Fersfield Church on 5th October.

Historical Snippets - Bressingham and Fersfield
We'll be regularly featuring some interesting historical facts about our villages, written by one of our Parish Councillors, Linda Holly.
Does anyone have any information on The Chequers being used as a club meeting house? Pubs were used for many purposes in the past, and The Chequers is no exception.  A fascinating organisation called 'The Amicable Society of Bressingham' , where members paid subscriptions for financial assistance during periods of ill health and even death, met at the pub in the early 1800s. What prompted its formation? To read more click here >> The Chequers, Bressingham

We'd love to hear from anyone who recognizes any of the names mentioned in the articles or photos or knows any of their relatives - please get in touch with Liz: 01379 687546 or email: mail@bressinghamandfersfield.org
Anthea and Jaime Blake met at College in Liverpool. They started their married life in Peterborough where Anthea was a teacher for special needs and Jaime worked for the local parks department. In 1988 Jamie was asked to work at Bressingham Gardens as deputy head gardener by his father in law Alan Bloom.  So they returned to live in Bressingham where Anthea had been brought up in Bressingham Hall. 

Both their children, like their mother, went to local schools. Ellie is now a teacher working in Dereham and David has just finished University in York where he studied film and television.  Anthea teaches at a special needs school in Attleborough and Jaime is now the curator of the garden his father in law created at Bressingham Gardens. Anthea’s sister, Jenny, is a garden designer and lives in London.

Anthea has done some extensive research on her family the Blooms. She discovered to her surprise that her great, great, great, great grandfather was William Harnwell who lived at Fen Side in Fen Street, Bressingham. He was a blacksmith he also owned land around his house which presumably he farmed. Anthea was able to trace the Harnwell family back to the1500’s when they were linen weavers. The family cannot be traced as living in Bressingham after around 1850, dispersing around the area as a result of a poor rural economy at the time. She also discovered that Robert Harnwell’s son John was a pupil at Elizabeth Barker School in Church Lane around 1811.  Anthea’s great grandmother was Amelia Feake (married name Whitworth) who lived in Palgrave and worked in Diss at Gosling’s Chemist when she was 16.  She was born in Rickinghall.

Alan Bloom - Anthea’s father came to Bressingham in 1946.  Although he had been told that his grandmother had been born locally, he had no idea that there was a Bressingham connection. He came from Cambridgeshire where his family had been shopkeepers for several generations. Before the war Alan’s plant nursery was the biggest in England and he had also developed new  herbaceous perennials. The wholesale nursery was recognised as the most successful and largest  in England. He owned about 200 acres of farm land, and during the war he reclaimed 350 acres of Fen land, the largest drainage and reclamation scheme of its kind. This was most successful and, as a result, a lot of extra food was grown for the war effort. Even the King came to admire what he had achieved. Unfortunately, after the war, this reclaimed land was given back and reverted to Fen. It was then he decided to make a new start and was able to buy a 200 acre shooting estate in Bressingham - where it was suggested the Water Board would drain some of the Fen Land. It was because of Alan’s previous success and knowledge of draining land in Cambridgeshire that he was able to persuade the water board to go ahead with their plans.

Alan was acknowledged as one of the leading plantsman in England of the 20th century, awarded medals and honours in the field. But this was not without  set backs. His first Bressingham winter in 1946 was the worst in many years and was followed by a summer of drought. He left a manager in charge and decided to go to Canada to start a nursery  there. However there he encountered the worst Canadian winter in 30 years. The plants he had sent for from England arrived by boat but were mostly dead on arrival.  He returned to Bressingham and with, a lot of hard work, developed his nursery in Bressingham to be the size of his Cambridgeshire one. When his sons Robert and Adrian grew up they took over the nursery and Alan concentrated on developing the Dell Garden.  Here he made history by creating the island beds. The Dell Gardens had originally been the site of where they extracted clay for bricks, so most of the soil was light and sandy and suitable for plants. People visited the garden from all over the world.  At this time too Alan began his collection of steam engines, initially traction engines, which were being sold for scrap at the time. Enthusiasts emerged to help him develop what is now the Steam Engine Museum and is open to many visitors and enjoyed by so many. The Bloom family have provided work for many people in the community over the years.  Eventually the museum became a charitable trust and the main nursery and plants centre were sold, leaving  the gardens and a smaller nursery to be carried on by the family.  The Hall is open to bed and breakfast - and the third generation of Blooms in Bressingham are producing plants. 

Bressingham Steam & Gardens
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

Bus timesCheck the bus times for Bressingham >


News >> Community History >> Community Interviews >>
Fancy swapping your home in Norfolk/Suffolk for ours in the South of France for the winter?

We are house hunting and want to spend a good length of time in the Diss area and to that end are looking for a house swap. These are our details from the home exchange site we've signed up to: https://www.homeexchange.com/en/dashboard/your-listings/

If you'd like to know more would love to hear from you: jillcrouch@sky.com

10am – 1pm - 6 Common Road,  Bressingham, IP22 2AT -  Raffle, Games, Cakes, Nearly New, Bookstall and a Special Raffle: a Case of 6 bottles of “Cremant de  Bourgogne”. Come along bring a friend, everyone welcome. Anyone wishing to bake a cake or donate a prize please call Brenda: 01379 688375

SATURDAY 11th OCTOBER -  QUIZ NIGHT - 7.30 for 8pm - £2.50 per head with nibbles - just come along

SATURDAY 13th DECEMBER - QUIZ SUPPER - 7.30pm - £5.00 per head with Supper. Please book in advance call Brenda: 0379 688375

THE CHEQUERS - Meeting 8th September
report from Paul Davey
The meeting was well attended by 31 people from Fersfield and Bressingham: and the agreed name of the Community Asset Group is ‘The Friends of Bressingham Chequers’. A Constitution was agreed and Officers elected as follows:
Paul Davey    Chairman/Secretary
Emily Towne     Deputy
Matthew Gadd   Treasurer
Dawn Gadd     Committee Member
Minutes of the meeting can be requested from the Chairman
(T: 01379 688182) but are not being circulated publicly at this stage for obvious reasons. I have spoken with the Planning Officer, Robert Webb,  today and he has confirmed that objections can be sent to SNDC right up to the meeting to decide the Planning Application. This meeting is likely to be on 16th October in Long Stratton but this is not confirmed yet. The dates given in the Diss Express recently are not correct.

by Karl & Anna Traynier

On 6th September, Anna and I with friends from Fersfield, took a trip over to Boyland Common for their 'Friends of Boyland Common' Day.  The weather was a bit overcast but there were some really nice things on show - one lady was making corn dolls, another was spinning wool and there was live music and games.

The main event was a Falconry Display by Tim and Tina Elmar from Out On a Wing Falconry. Photos here and on the gallery page were taken by our friend Edward Cullen who recently moved here from Ipswich. It was fantastic to see such amazing birds flying so close to everyone - I'm already looking forward to next year's event!
For those of you who missed the day, keep an eye out for things happening in neighbouring villages and remember to keep checking this website for other local events. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

To help keep you up to date with both community and church events and to enable you to follow the progress being made to install the new heating system, a FACEBOOK page has been created for Fersfield Church - www.facebook.com/fersfieldchurch - the page currently shows some fantastic photos from the two recent summer weddings - go and have a look and 'Like' the page.


We are planning a series of events to commemorate World War 1 and would like to hear from anyone with recollections passed down the generations about life in our area during World War One. We would particularly appreciate information about local people who served during the war. Please contact: Linda Holly (T: 01379 687729) or Leo Pearce (T: 01379 688400).

We are happy to announce that the south porch roof replacement should be underway by Christmas.

FERSFIELD BRUNCH ..... treasure hunt answers
Fersfield Meadow Committee would once again like to say many thanks to all who came and supported the recent Brunch. As may of you were interested and took part in the Treasure Hunt, we thought you might like to view the questions and answers and some very interesting facts - click here >

£30 for 6 sessions (advance payment) or £6 each 2-hour session. Trained coach and equipment supplied. Details T: 01379 688375
YOGA - Mon 9.30-11.00 am - Village Hall
For full details ring Jackie T: 01379 650513
PILATES - Village Hall
Contact Amanda via her website or T: 07557 025513
Want some tuition? Contact Sam Darlow T: 07714 706033 or email
We play all year round and have one team in both the Norfolk & Norwich League and Suffolk Coastal League. Feel free to come along on Saturday mornings (from 10.30) or Wednesday evenings (from 6.30) to try out the game. Visit our blog >

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