Archive for November, 2013

Foxearth Local History Society – Meeting Wednesday 12th November

At the District Society’s meeting on 12th November Chairman Alan Fitch expressed a very warm welcome to 20 members and guests present – particularly those from Long Melford in view of the Suffolk Archive films to be shown.

The first film was about the working of the Colne Valley railway in the period just before and after the Beeching review and cuts. Most of the images were shot from moving trains as they travelled between stops on the line. They showed closed station buildings, abandoned signal boxes and foliage encroaching upon the disused tracks. The similarity of so many of the station buildings was because the rail company used a standard design. Apart from commuter traffic an important use of the line was for freight – particularly sugar beet. There was coverage of the impressive track lifting equipment by means of which quite large sections of line were taken up in one piece. In the progressive closures Long Melford station ceased to operate in 1961 and by 1967 only the Sudbury/Marks Tey section remained in use, due to the expansion of Sudbury town. This film was a sharp reminder of what a fundamental and anguishing change Dr Beeching’s restructuring of the railway network imposed on local populations, the wisdom of which is still being questioned 50 years later.

The second film “The county our parents knew” took us back to the Suffolk of the 1920s and 30s – and occasionally earlier. For example there was film of Princess Beatrice’s visit to Bury in 1913 and poignant pictures of hundreds of Suffolk men marching to war in 1914. In stark contrast to today the streets were empty of vehicles except those drawn by horses and a very occasional motor car. Lowestoft in 1921 was a reminder of the highly important fishing industry and the amazing speed at which women in the canning sheds gutted the fish. Other notable events were the visit by Prince Henry to Ipswich to see the new trolley buses, the opening of the Southwold Trinity Fair by the mayor and various celebrations of the jubilee of King George V in 1935. Although beginning to fall out of use, windmills were still a common sight in the 1920s. The local industries of thatching, flint-napping and harvesting before the traction engine featured in the fascinating reminiscences of some “old timers”.

This was an interesting evening for which Alan thanked Canon Peter Sandberg for his projectionist skills. Members were reminded that, as agreed at the last AGM, meetings from the New Year would begin at 7.30pm.

The next gathering of the Society would be the Annual Christmas Dinner to be held at  The George, Cavendish on 10th  December. Reservations for places should be by return of the menu – with choices marked – to the Chairman by 24th November at the latest together with a deposit of £10 per head.

Ken Nice

Harvest Supper 2013

A set of photographs for this event, which had laid, forgotten in my camera, have now been posted in the gallery section of the site for your enjoyment. It was a great evening.

My apologies for this oversight.

David Busby

Report of Parish Council Meeting – 30th October 2013

A meeting of the Council for Foxearth and Liston was held in Foxearth Village Hall on Wednesday 30th October 2013 and about 12 local residents attended. Principal matters discussed were:

Highways: The Local Highways Panel had turned down a request for a 20mph speed limit through Liston. An application for a 30mph limit would now be made.

Attention was drawn to a road pothole and to footpath signs requiring repairs.

Finance: The Clerk reported that this year’s expenditure was proceeding within the budget and there were no matters of concern. Regarding the budget for 2014/15 – which would need to be approved at the next meeting – a councillor suggested that consideration be given to the provision of some speech amplification in the Village Hall, possibly by a loop system. It was agreed to refer this idea to the Village Hall Trust. It was noted that, as the closing date of 31st October approached, four applications for grants in the next year had been received from The Village Hall Trust, Liston Church Appeal, Foxearth Parochial Church Council and the District Local History Society.

Clerk: It was reported that there were two prospective candidates for the permanent post and interviews would be arranged

Planning: An application for an extension to an annexe at a private dwelling in Liston had been turned down by the Braintree District Council.

Solar Farms: Following on from the special meeting held on 3rd October the Chairman, Cllr. Clive Waite, reported that the committee, composed of representatives of the parish councils concerned and formed to work on the formation of effective policies to ensure that local interests were safe guarded  and were taken into account, had met twice. The Braintree District Council Planning meeting on 7th November– at which it had been expected that developers’ plans would be considered- had been postponed. However in respect of one application the District Council had issued a screening assessment which concluded that as the development was only of local importance an environmental impact assessment was not required; the full text of this is on the Parish Council’s web site. The Chairman stated that lobbying was continuing at various levels and reminded that anyone could and should make their views known to District. The petition to Parliament inaugurated by MP Brooks Newmark had so far attracted about 800 signatures.

Public Rights of Way: A modification to the public footpath network to realign path 26 to the northern boundary of Huntsmans Farm so that it runs south-eastwards to intersect with path 24 at Bradfields Wood was agreed.

Street lighting in Claypits: A request from a resident that alternate lights should be switched off intermittently – as has been done in other parts of the District – was reported. It was pointed out that as the Parish Council was responsible for these lights such a change could not be part of the District scheme and separate timers would be needed. Also the views of other residents would need to be taken into account. It was agreed to take no action.

Next meeting: 11th December 2013 at 7.30pm in Foxearth Village Hall

Ken Nice