Archive for June, 2013


May Spring Bank Holiday saw the opening of the first Test Pit excavation in Foxearth, as part of the Heritage Lottery ‘All Our Stories’ funded Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative project. This was the first of several Test Pits due to be excavated in the village throughout summer 2013.

Appropriately, this Test Pit was located in the garden of The Rectory, with a second here to be opened in June. Much information has been gathered already about Foxearth in the past, with a surprise find of an antler from a Fallow Deer (usually a parkland species). If you would like to take part in any of the future excavations or haven’t already offered a site on your own land or garden and would like to be included, please contact Corinne Cox ( 01787 379410).

Fieldwalking, although hampered by poor weather earlier in the year, has already indicated some interesting manorial sites and finds have included several pieces of medieval pottery as well as a complete base from a Hedingham ware flagon/drinking vessel. Fieldwalking will continue later in the summer and autumn.

Residents have been busy undertaking research into the history of their own house or property and arrangements have been made with Lavenham Press for publication & printing of a book charting the history of Foxearth as evidenced from work done during the project. Anyone having problems with their research should contact Corinne for assistance.

A video recording of life in the village and interviews with all its residents has begun and will continue throughout the summer holiday period with the assistance of young volunteers in the village. Residents will be contacted to arrange suitable convenient times for their own interview sessions.

If you want to follow the progress of the detective work so far, pop into the church and look at the displays & information there. We are hoping to post updates on various websites & social media during the summer months….more details later.

Thank you to all those who are helping with our project…it’s not too late to get involved if you aren’t already !! We’ve recently had some volunteers involved with the Access Cambridge Archaeology & Managing a Masterpiece who want to join our project and we thank them for offering their time.

Corinne Cox (Project Leader FCHI )


Footpath Improvements

Some further improvements have been made to the footpath network around Foxearth and Liston. These particular improvements have been made on the popular footpath that leaves the road by Hall Cottage at the Cavendish end of the village and crosses the field behind Foxearth Hall.

Two bridges that had become rotted, dangerous and a safety hazard have been replaced by two new sturdy structures. One stile has also been replaced by a gate. It is hoped that two further stiles will be removed in the near future to provide easier access to this well used circular route. 

Norman John Oakes 1936 – 2013

Foxearth Church was full to capacity on Friday 7th June for a service of thanksgiving for the life of Norman Oakes who lived in the village with his wife Pam for 12 years and who died on 23rd May. The service was conducted by Rev Val Gagen and began and ended with some favourite recorded music selected by Norman and the family. Norman was laid to rest in the churchyard.

In the first of three formal tributes, daughter Karen spoke movingly of a loving father who was “always there for his family”. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he was ever ready to lend a hand when there was something to be done. He relished a challenge  this being particularly evident when Karen and her husband took on the renovation of a property. She recalled wonderful family Christmasses and the pleasure that Norman would derive from his adored grand children – especially when he could make them laugh.

Clive Waite, Chairman of the local Parish Council, told how he first met Norman during the clearing-up after a Village Midsummer Ball. Having just moved into the village, Norman simply turned up and started to help and Clive found that they were near neighbours. Adopting his maxim that “your community won’t come to you – you must go to it” Norman became actively involved in village life serving on the Village Hall Trust. In 2007 he was elected onto the Parish Council where after four and a half years his service came to an end through illness. Norman and Pam formed a cornerstone of the village fete as their wheelbarrow collection of bottles for the Tombola was a yearly feature. On his allotment Norman was a familiar figure taking great pride in his vegetables and he voluntarily took on a role of water monitor to ensure a supply for his colleagues. In every sense, Norman was a true gentleman.

According to son-in-law Ian Peart “don’t fuss” was one of Norman’s favourite sayings – but today it was right that we should make a fuss about someone who would do absolutely anything for his family and who was so greatly loved. Born in Woolwich in 1936 Norman had an early interest in clocks and became apprenticed to the craft in 1951. The hard work that was so typical of him led to him eventually establishing his own business. Norman was interested in all sport and played golf whenever the opportunity arose: the fact that he might take 7 or 8 strokes to reach the green would never affect his happy approach to the game!  An adventurous side to his character was shown as he tried sky-diving and deep sea fishing – and he would willingly test a new whiskey! He had a clear sense of what was right e.g dressing smartly, being polite – and what was wrong, rudeness and paying to park!

Readings  were contributed by daughter Janine Peart and sister Brenda Grimaldi.

To Pam and the family we express our sincere condolences at the loss of a dearly loved member. The village will greatly miss a respected man whose cheery smile and helpful attitude were immediately apparent to all who met him.

Ken Nice