Archive for February, 2010

“Pink Champagne!” at Foxearth Village Hall

– 13 February 2010
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A Sparkling Gala of Romantic Operetta Songs for St. Valentine’s Eve, led by Ian McMillan (Director of the London Operetta and former director of the Carl Rosa Opera), with Winnie Soutter (formerly from the Scottish National Opera) and Quentin Poole (director of music at the Purcell school of Music), all performing as High IQ and Friends. Held in aid of the Liston and Borley Churches*.

It’s amazing how grand the Foxearth Village Hall can feel when filled up with people in finery. Even though some of the jewels were not even paste, but mere plastic that flickered with batteries, there were many tiaras with diamonds so fine and earrings that glowed in the dark. So we glittered and shone, with waistcoats and ruffs and the smartest bow ties on the men, next to Kilts and long dresses, to help us imagine how it must have been once, at the time when romance was not sold by Walt Disney, but was served in confections dreamed up by Lehar.

It began with the bubbly, served up as we entered, and we milled about meeting old friends. There were also some new ones, who’d come from afar, for the word had gone round that our musical group from the Ballroom at Liston were yet again likely to create a sensation. The hall was expectantly crowded; a full house.

Pink Champagne 2010 014 EditOf course we did not just come for the music. We also came for the grub, and were not disappointed. For Trish Turner cooked a fine dish from Morocco and followed it by Pavlovas, served to us all by the bevy of elegant helpers**. As well as the bubbly, the wine was a treat too, selected to slide down too well***. But we were reminded of our duty by ladies who came round with the raffle tickets****.

So, as we sat down, well oiled by the wine, the music rang out to remind us what tomorrow would be; a day for love and longing. For this, the world of Operetta is perfect, with its cornucopia of love songs, satirical and sumptuous, alongside mock-heroics and rumbustuous drinking songs. The group serenaded us as we ate, starting with the Merry Widow waltz. They sang Offenbach together and Straus all alone. They then led us all to sing Suppé between courses and Kálmán right after the meal. The songs were familiar, so singing came easy. Was this due to our age or just that they’re classics? And the wine and the song blended us all together, mellowly magicked away from our cares. But then, this is what fine entertainers can do.
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Finally, as Ian announced that the end had been reached, Father Eion Buchannan stood up to propose a vote of thanks and a final encore of “My Hero”, from the Chocolate Soldier, sent us happy away.

* The event was organized by Angela Pacey, Claire Flux, Charlie Hamp, Diana Middlemiss, Jo West, Sara Payne.
** Angela Pacey, Claire Flux, Charlie Hamp, Jo West and Maureen Clayton served.
*** Wine was selected by Martin Pacey with help at the bar from Colin Flux, Jeremy Hamp and Nick West.
**** Raffle tickets were sold by Diana Middlemiss and Sara Payne.

George Kasabov

Minutes of PC meeting of 10 February 2010

In the interest of disseminating information to parishioners at the earliest opportunity, at its last parish council meeting, the PC decided to publish minutes of meetings on the website as soon as they become available on the condition that these are notated as being in draft form and subject to approval by the PC at its next meeting.

Accordingly the minutes will be displayed here from now on.



C Flux (Chairman), C Cox, M Nice, K Nice, P Highmore and N Oakes. In attendance was P Corney (Clerk). There were 3 residents present.

1 Declarations of Interest

C Cox in relation to street cleaning, M and K Nice declared an interest in the flooding issue.

2 Apologies for absence

Cllr D Finch and Cllr N Harley

3 Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th December 2009 have being circulated were agreed and signed as a correct record.

4 Matters arising

The telephone box adoption – a response is still awaited from BT.

5 Highways

The B1064 had not been properly repaired, the sides were sinking. The finger posts at Claydens and Huntsmans Lane had still not been repaired. The clerk was asked to contact Essex Highways. The pothole opposite Fairview in The Street had not been repaired.

6 Community Warden Report

No report.

7 Flooding

The Environmental Engineer Mr Lee Creek will be making an inspection next week.

8 Public Questions

It was agreed that draft minutes should be placed on the village website.. It was reported that there was no further on the Bush Boake and Allen site although one of the residents reported that there were possible retail sales of the Celotex insulation product being made on the site. The clerk was asked to take this up with the Planning Dept. The unreliable collection of wheeley bins and recycling bags was discussed. It was agreed that no further action should be taken if the collection on Friday 12th February 2010 was satisfactory. (It was)

9 District Councillors Report


10 County Councillors Report

In the absence of Cllr Finch there was no report.

11 PROW and P3

There was nothing to report..

12 Correspondence


13 Planning

Planning matters already circulated:

Magnolia House – pending

Lyston House – pending

Mole End Place treeworks – granted

Lapwiing Cottage – pending

Village Hall treeworks – pending

14 Financial Matters

The precept for 2010-11 has been approved by Braintree Council. The cheques drawn since 9th December 2009 as shown below were approved.

15 Public Transport

The Chairman and Mr and Mrs Nice had attended a presentation by ECC regarding the provision of a minibus service. It is proposed that there will be 2 buses running on Tuesdays. One will be from Ridgewell to Haverhill and the second from Bulmer via Foxearth to Sudbury. The cost will be £2 return. There will be a one year trial.

16 Village Sign

Mr Waite reported that the sign was currently drying out. The Chairman had removed the post for it to be dried out. It was agreed that the tree and the sign cannot cohabit and the tree will be removed. Mrs Cox agreed to speak to Mr Douglas-Hughes regarding the planting of a replacement tree elsewhere. There will be consultation with the tree warden and Braintree District Council when a suitable site has been found. It was agreed to accept the quotation from Steven Binks for the repainting at a cost of £400.

17 Neighbourhood watch

She also mentioned that a PIR warning signal had become available to residents in Norfolk at a cost of £10. She agreed to investigate this further.

18 Any Other Business


19 Dates of Next Meetings

7th April 2010, 9th June 2010, 11th August 2010, 13th October 2010 and 8th December 2010. The AGM and annual parish meeting will be held on 5th May

The meeting closed at 8.40pm


Roman Gestingthorpe.

The Foxearth and District Local History Society met on 9th February 2010 and began with a tribute by Chairman Alan Fitch to Joyce Potter, Secretary of the Society, who died suddenly last month. Joyce trained as a radiographer and eventually became Superintendent Radiographer at London’s Royal Free Hospital. Upon retirement she moved with her husband to Borley where she was able to follow her passion for bee keeping and she was in demand as an expert speaker on the topic. Joyce was also a talented linguist being fluent in French, Italian and Russian. Joyce was a member of the Society almost from its inception and she will be very much missed for her keen interest in its activities and her friendship.

It was intended to present some historic films at this meeting but projecter problems intervened. As ever, our reliable President, Ashley Cooper, stepped into the breach and we were treated to a fascinating exposition of the Roman finds at Gestingthorpe . In the Cooper family the thirst for knowledge began some 60 years ago when Harold, Ashley’s father discovered, what proved to be, a Roman tile on his farm land. He took it to Colchester museum where the Curator made the identification and encouraged further exploration. Harold’s enthusiasm was really fired when in the 1960s the foundations of a Roman villa were unearthed along with numerous fragments of pottery, tile and metal works. A prize finding was an intact pottery jar, complete with lid, but, alas, empty. Another was an exquisite millefleurs piece – only about 1cm in diameter; a testament to the exceptional eyesight of the craftsman. This was found near a horse’s skull and may have been a decorative ornament on the animal. Evidence of ducted underfloor heating (hypocaust) was found together with many other relics.

As well as instituting a museum at their home the family commissioned a series of water- colour paintings from local artist, Ben Perkins, showing how Gestingthorpe may have looked in Roman times and we were shown these along with photographic slides of the excavations. Gestingthorpe was clearly a hive of industry with all its potters, tile makers, metalsmiths.carvers of antlers and bone, and so on. A truly enjoyable evening from a master in the art of enthusiasm-conveyance!

The Chairman reminded members that the next gathering of the Society would be the AGM on Tuesday 9th March at 8pm in Foxearth Village Hall. He announced that Treasurer Justine Corney was resigning because of other commitments and there would thus be two positions to be filled. At this meeting the President would give a short talk, there would be cheese and wine and members were invited to bring along any historical/antique artefacts for discussion- or perhaps identification!

Ken Nice