Archive for February, 2020

Foxearth and District Local History Society – Meeting on 11th February 2020

The meeting of the Society on Tuesday 11th February opened with a tribute by Clare to John Geddes who died on 7th February. John was an active member of the Society during his 10 year residence in Foxearth. In spite of a long and bravely fought battle with cancer John maintained his interest in local history and contributed some valuable research. He served also as Treasurer  for some time bringing his expertise as an accountant to good use. John enjoyed taking part in visits and outings and will be sadly missed for his wise counsels and friendliness.

What the new can tell us about the old is an obvious aspect of  historical research and this was explored in relation to topographical changes in the Sudbury area for about 35 members and guests by Mark Mathieson. His particular approach was through the medium of old maps related to satellite images of the areas they covered and the changes they could identify. Basing his talk on the facility provided by the National Library of Scotland web site Mark showed how comparisons could be made by viewing the maps and aerial photographs overlaid or side by side or by sliding. Satellites using some form of radar could produce contour maps thus revealing features existing many centuries before the maps were drawn; for example the traces of Roman camps near Shrimpling and the Roman villa at Gestingthorpe.  Conversely the satellites show no signs of Brundon church said to be in use until about 1700. One feature that did seem clear was that the amount of woodland had hardly changed in the course of the 200 years or so between the maps and the modern observations. Chalk, clay and gravel pits were abundant in the district accounting for the various brickworks existing at one time. A curious image was the appearance of a Boeing super jet in the grounds of Kentwell Hall clearly caught on camera flying over the area as the satellite passed.

Although navigation of the web site was felt to be not that easy, Mark demonstrated the effectiveness and  use of the facility which covered the whole of the UK and commended it to members. He showed many examples of changing aspects in the immediate villages around Sudbury including what had replaced redundant buildings and  apparent changes in the river courses – throwing doubt perhaps on the accuracy of the maps? This was a most interesting and useful talk for which Mark was warmly applauded. We are grateful to him for circulating, after his talk, a helpful summary of how to use the NLS website. As usual Lynda organised a well-supported raffle to help the funds along

The next meeting will be on Tuesday March 10th at 7.30pm in Foxearth Village Hall. This will be the Annual General Meeting with cheese and wine and members are asked to bring along items for a ‘Museum Table’

Ken Nice


Foxearth and Liston parish Council – Report of meeting on 25th January 2020

There was a meeting of the Parish Council on 25th January 2020 when the following principal items were discussed

Fibre Broadband installation. Work continues on this although the latest connection date of March was suggested by Cllr. Mark Posen to be optimistic. Considerable concern and frustration was expressed, by councillors and members of the public present,  at the time this work is taking and it was recalled that in May 2019 connection was anticipated in October/November of that year. It was felt that the performance of County Broadband has been disgraceful and that they should be pressed for a programme for the delivery of a service long promised. Also comments were made about the misleading signs relating to road closures and it was felt that these signs should be more specific in relation to the point at which a road is closed. A sign saying ‘Road head closed’ when the actual closure is perhaps a mile or two ahead is not very helpful.

Apologies were received from County Cllr. David Finch and his update of ECC activity was circulated. A copy of this is available on the Parish Council website. It gives brief details of the budget for 2020/2021, the setting up of a climate change commission, the forestry initiative begun in Nov 2019, the year-long Essex 2020 programme of exhibitions and creative events, developments in services for rough sleepers, the homeless, children and families and proposals for housing and highways developments.

Apologies also were received from District Cllr. Iona Parker who drew attention in a report to the Braintree D.C. establishment of a Climate Change working party and the regeneration initiative fror Manor Street.

Questions were asked about the cleaning and the trimming of branches around the Foxearth Village sign and the work required to straighten the War memorial in the churchyard. The Clerk was asked to pursue the first matter and the second was in the hands of the Parochial Church Council.

Several points were raised about the state of some footpaths – mainly overgrowth and, at this time of year, mud

No objections were expressed to a planning proposal for work on a property in Liston.

 Next meeting: Saturday 21st March 2020 at 9.45am in Foxearth Village Hall

Ken Nice