Archive for March, 2010

Foxearth & District History Society AGM

The District Society held its eleventh Annual General Meeting on Tuesday , 9th March 2010 in Foxearth Village Hall; sixteen members were present. The Chairman, Alan Fitch reflected on the success of talks and visits in the last twelve months and thanked the committee and members for the support they had given in various ways. He expressed the Committee’s concern at the falling membership and the effect this was having on the Society’s revenues. However good news was explained by David Busby about the prospect of a grant from the Essex Community Foundation to support grass roots community action framed around social activities. He was making application on behalf of the Society for funds which would cover expenses such as hall hire, web site, speaker’s expenses etc and was hopeful of approval.

The Treasurer, Justine Corney, presented the accounts for the year ended 28th February showing a significant drop in the non-earmarked funds. It was generally agreed that the survival of the Society really required additional members and the above-mentioned grant. It was agreed that the annual membership subscription should be held at £10.

The Committee was re-elected en bloc but the Chairman reminded all that the Treasurer’s post would soon become vacant upon Mrs Corney’s move from the village and that there was a need to appoint a Secretary following the sad and sudden death of Joyce Potter. Clare Mathieson volunteered to join the Committee. The Chairman was thanked for his efforts in the Society’s interests.

A summary of activities in the next year was presented to include talks on cobbling, Suffolk convicts in Australia, working horses, making TV programmes and Queen Elizabeth 1st in Suffolk. Visits would be made to Gainsborough’s House, the Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey and the President’s farm at Gestingthorpe. Members had been invited to bring in any historical artefacts and there was fascinating discussion about a well depth measurer, a stone skinning knife found in a Foxearth garden, a wooden device for moulding paper covers for tiny medicine phials and a minature (half match box size) prayer book.

Finally before the customary cheese and wine the President, Ashley Cooper, led us all well and truly up the garden path by asking us to identify his Gestingthorpe hero . Tempted by a prize of a membership fee for two we listened attentively to Ashley’s clues; a man who suffered injury in his work, was buried in the churchyard and had a plaque to his honour in the church. This could only have been Captain Lawrence Oates of Antarctic fame was the unanimous view but how wrong we were! The hero, who fulfilled all the criteria, was one Henry Cook, a local farmworker who lost both arms (the first when he was 12 years old) in accidents but who showed great fortitude in continuing to work and in coping with life. His example earned him lasting memory – and the President kept his £20!

Next meeting: Tuesday 13th April 8pm Foxearth Village Hall – History Quiz
Ken Nice


The results of the draw for February are as follows. Sincere apologies for the delay in publishing.

1st Prize Gill Morgan

2nd prize Heather Whiffen

3rd Prize Sally Percival

4th Prize Clive Waite

Thank you to all those who take part in this monthly draw. If you wish to join please contact Roger Messer on 310038 or Val Hastie on 373277