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Community Connection - 14 March from Richard Hewitt
Our Parish Council meeting of 6 March, as you will see from the published agenda, had a variety of important issues as the minutes will also show when published. We heard from our County Councillor, Bev Spratt, who spoke about funding and Council Tax for 2017-8: Bev gave an accurate account and we now know the precise figures – like us, I suspect you have now had your home’s specific account. We will be doing our best to ensure our community gets its full value for money!  Our District Councillor, Barry Stone does submit a written report, but was not with us at the meeting.

Vice-Chairman Karl Traynier is much concerned with traffic safety and speeds through our villages, as we have already reported. The residents of Fersfield are keen to lobby for greater traffic control/speed restriction, and a petition is proposed as an ‘opening’ to this project. The heavy lorry traffic through our villages, using us as a route from Kenninghall (Ash Tree Farm) to the A1066, en route to a ‘chicken factory’, is causing much concern:  for example the sheer volume and anti-social hours (four lorries the other day at 05:45 for example). We are about to hold discussions with people from Kenninghall (representing those who live on the southern side – those on the north are quite happy not to see this traffic!). I will report on such things as lack of consultation and compliance with planning conditions at a later stage

Of course, we looked at the latest news on the ‘Chequers’ and ‘Harvest House’ issues. We await further detail on both these: opening hours at the ‘Chequers’ will be interesting, and ‘Harvest House’ planning issues are set to run with the legal processes being put in place by a community-supportive resident……. I am still a little saddened by the outcome of the planning meeting and effective dismissal of the community concerns.  SNDC has not been as transparent as it could have been one feels – and a sensible discussion and consultation, involving people from all ‘sides’, at a far earlier stage, would surely have been most valuable.

Enough of the negatives: Barry Stone, District Councillor, is hoping to access some discretionary funding for some summer activity for our younger people – perhaps something musical is possible!  We are delighted and grateful for the progress with the defibrillator installation and very proud to continue and develop our website under Margaret’s expert guidance.

May I apologise for being a little late with this connection, and possibly not as clear as I would wish… I have a touch of ‘Bell’s Syndrome’ which affects the face and attached bits, clear thinking can be difficult! Best wishes to you all, Richard.

Bressingham, Fersfield, North & South Lopham Services Lent 2017
During Lent 2017 the members of the congregations of Bressingham, Fersfield, North and South Lopham will be taking Holy Communion together so they can enjoy a themed Sermons Series given by Rev Wendy on “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” as follows:
19 March SL
26 March (Mothering Sunday) Fersfield
2 April NL
9 April (Palm Sunday) B’ham
(NB There will be no morning prayer in these locations until 23rd April when it will revert back to our normal pattern).


Mothering Sunday (26 March), with all four of the country parishes of Diss Team Ministry joining together, there will be a Family Communion Service in St Andrew's, Fersfield, to be taken by the Rector, Tony Billett, at 9.30 am. The very short annual vestry meeting, to elect churchwardens for 2017-8, will take place immediately after the service.  Everyone is very welcome - please join us.                

ADVANCE NOTICE:  Easter Sunday, 16 April - there will be a special family/village service at
11 am. A short service will be followed by the opportunity to meet for an 'Easter Chat' and appropriate refreshment.

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.

It's grey and miserable outside, but bright and sunny in here" what a friendly greeting from Alan! He's got a couple of new lines this month, posh pot noodles and a spice mix for lovely lentil curry. There's also an eye catching display of Doritos and dips in various flavours, and apple strudels are this week's treat. Glad to see your spotless nails in the picture, Alan. 

Times of opening :
Mon - Fri 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 7.30am - 1.00pm
Sunday 8.30am - 1.00pm

Goodbye - The Bressingham Methodist Chapel - from Jean Collins
As you may have already read, it is with much sadness that the Methodist Chapel in High Road, Bressingham is closing at the end of March. To celebrate all the years we have had, and all the many, many children (mostly now adults) and people that have been part of our lives during this time, we would like to invite everyone to come and join with us for a FAREWELL SERVICE on SUNDAY, APRIL 2ND at 2.30pm. The service will be led by our circuit minister Rev David Ely, and as has always been the tradition, we hope for all to come and join us to 'Raise the Roof' one last time with lots of singing in a service of celebration. After the service, refreshments will be served, so that all may linger and chat as has always been our custom. A big 'Thank you' to every one for your support over the years. We look forward to seeing you on April 2nd.

Bressingham and District Ladies Group
New members always welcome
A very interesting and humorous talk given by speaker and author, Pip Wright on “The Amazing Rev John, the Suffolk Gipsy”. The Reverend’s actual name was John Steggall, born in 1789 and the son of the rector of Wyverstone. Having run away from a very strict school at the age of eight, John joined a group of travelling gipsies and with the help of the elder of the camp, Jonus Gibson, disguised himself from the local bobby by exchanging his fine clothes for the worn and dirty attire of his new “family”.

Nearly finding himself in prison along with Jonus for the accidental shooting of Tom Sealy, the local gamekeeper, John soon found that a change of circumstance was needed and returned to a much better educational establishment in Botesdale.

We heard that after a short introduction to medicine at the age of 14, John became a ship's surgeon. However due to an injury he then enrolled in studies at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge when he was 22, with the object of entering the church (whilst keeping a medical practice going to supplement his meagre earnings!). Eventually though he ended up as being just a Curate until his death in 1881, at the grand old age of 92.

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.

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 >

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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We want to make this community website a useful and fun source of information covering all that’s happening in our villages so we need YOUR HELP - if you have any news, event information or items of interest please click here to email us

Thu 30   Afternoon Club visit to the Dutch Barn & Beehive Cafe 10.30am at the Village Hall see below for details
Tue 11   Afternoon Club
Sat 22   Guided walk and talk by landscape historian, Professor Tom Williamson, inaugurating Bressingham & Fersfield Historical Society. (Charismatic, fascinating speaker!)
Tue 25   Annual Parish Meeting in the Village Hall - An opportunity to meet and exchange information about our community's activities
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
Sat 13   'Plants from Our Parish and Cakes from Our Cooks' at Fersfield Church - 10 am to 12 noon - Refreshments will also be served.  Shirley (01379 687671) will welcome offers of cakes and baking, and Pam (01379 688565) for plants and cuttings.  More details to follow.
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

The first meeting for Defibrillator training took place on Monday night with 24 people attending. Unfortunately the sound system did not behave itself and we had to listen very hard to what was being said. Having said that the DVD is exceptionally good at explaining and the majority of what we needed to know came over pretty well. 

The main part of the practical training is with CPR, as we do not have a training defibrillator, but as this is the most important stage of saving a life, and is something everyone can learn to do. We are shown how a defibrillator works as well on the DVD and should you need to use one then the machine itself talks you through every stage and will not let you do anything wrong. Jon and Lorna Young were there to help with the training as Jon is a former Paramedic and Lorna is a staff nurse. We were very grateful to both of them for just being there to answer the many questions we all had and give support. 

Please, if you feel you would like to come along, even just to see what happens, then please get in touch with Reg (01379 688331) or Allan (01379 688452) to put your name down for the next meeting, If you do not like the idea of actually training then at least come along and learn the method so you may be able to show someone else what to do in an emergency.

The next session will be in April so please check the website or posters around the villages for the date..


We now have some vacant plots on our Allotment site which you can rent for just, £14 per year. We're a friendly bunch, always happy to stop for a cuppa and chat - beautiful countryside/village setting, lovely place to spend an afternoon while getting some exercise and growing the best veggies you'll ever taste!

Contact Michelle Lanchester for more info: 01379 688109 or email her at michelle.lanchester@gmail.com


This afternoon's meeting was very busy right from the start. We were treated to cakes made by 2 of our men, with Katharine also making beautiful cakes to keep up the ladies side with the baking. We started as usual with a quiz - this month we tried a "Call my Bluff" type quiz - which was hilarious with the unusual words represented by 3 very strange definitions. Out of 10 questions the most anyone got was 4 correct answers and 5 people managed this so the tie breaker question was brought into play and Stella won chocolates and shortbread. 

We then split up into groups with people playing, scrabble and Uno and a large group of ladies making catnip mice for our chosen charity - Feline Care. The mice can be either knitted or sewn and a few of our ladies came this afternoon with many mice ready and waiting to be filled with stuffing and catnip. Between sewing, knitting and stuffing there was a lot of chatter and laughter plus lots of eating and drinking.

We are planning on taking our members to the Dutch Barn and Beehive Cafe on Thursday 30 March leaving the Village Hall Car Park at 10.30. Any members plus their family and friends are welcome to join us and if you would like to come please let Kay or Reg know (01379 688331 or email: regkaybrock@btinternet.com.

This month we started our bring and buy table where members can bring up to 5 items to be sold for Club funds. We hope this will become a regular feature. Anything can be brought as long as it is taken home afterwards if not sold.

As always we look forward to meeting new members (first session free) so please come along and give us a try - next meeting 11th April.

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.

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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