Community news

Vivienne Norah Hastie 1928 – 2019

Just three and a half months after we paid our final respects to her husband Jim, we assembled again at the West Suffolk Crematorium on 27th February to celebrate the life of Vivienne who died on 19th January 2019. Thus ended a 66-year association with Foxearth village for this well-known and greatly respected couple. An affectionate eulogy compiled by the family was read at the service.

Vivienne was born in December 1928 in Glemsford to Ethel and Walter Brown: she was their fourth and final child with brothers Henry (usually known as Harry), Clifford and sister Eva. She often recalled to her family walking to her primary school with its Victorian stove and describing the friends she made – a very early one being Molly who stayed in touch for 85 years to share many birthdays and visits. Other memories from those days were the amount of walking and cycling that had to be done and the worry that her mother felt when Clifford joined the Royal Air Force and the relief when the war ended and he resumed civilian life. Vivienne played her part in the war effort by knitting socks for soldiers. Marriage to Jim took place at Glemsford church in September 1953 and a long and rewarding life together was marked by a 65th anniversary last year. Moving to Huntsmans after their wedding Vivienne quickly became immersed in village life. She attended Foxearth church every Sunday and helped with cleaning and flower arranging and she delivered the Parish News by bicycle. To the delight of the couple daughters Judith and June duly arrived. In addition to caring for her family Vivienne’s particular strengths were careful housekeeping and an ever cheerful approach to hard work and economy: qualities which Jim shared. As Jim often worked long days on the farm during harvest time Vivienne decided that learning to drive would make life a bit easier and  Jim’s limitations as an instructor were no deterrent! Vivienne’s patience won and she eventually taught her daughters to drive. Living on the outskirts of the village could have been lonely but Vivienne was a true countrywoman joining in so many activities. She collected for Cancer Research and the British Legion Poppy Appeal , was an active member of the Over 60s Club and the Women’s Institute taking Scottish country dancing, baking, dress and hat making, preserves, trips and outings all in her stride. If elderly neighbours needed a helping hand Vivienne was there for them. Fetes, coffee mornings, bring and buy sales etc. all benefitted from her willingness to help. She was also captain of the WI darts team – and not a lot of us knew that! In due course grandchildren came along which meant meeting Simon and Rebecca from school and visiting Anna, Lucy and Charlie where they lived in France. Vivienne was a hands-on grandmother, never too busy to baby-sit, give cooking lessons, knit jumpers and a multitude of other helpful tasks. Until old age made it difficult Vivienne was a regular borrower at the fortnightly (now, alas, less frequent) library van where we would always have a chat about local issues.

It was entirely fitting that at the end of the service a recording of Jerusalem by Voices of the WI was played. Vivienne was widely admired for her cheerful personality, her sense of community and her commitment to village life She passed away peacefully and  will be  missed  but fondly remembered by all who had the good fortune to meet her .

Ken Nice


Local History Society – Report 11th December 2018

The District Local History Society brought its 2018 (its 19th) season to a festive close on 11th December with the traditional Christmas dinner at the George, Cavendish. Some 30 members attended where excellent food and fellowship made for a memorable evening. A challenging note was introduced by a  quiz which tested members recollection of history and other things. Randolph Ivy was the victorious egghead whose erudition was rewarded with a bottle of wine: possibly those questions on North America tipped the scales?

President Ashley Cooper thanked those who run the Society so smoothly, deal with the finances, maintain the highly-regarded web site, write reports – and those who bring their own particular interests such as church brasses, Borley witches, war memories, budgerigars etc to further the scope of the Society.

Secretary Clare Mathieson outlined the provisional programme for next year which would start in February with a film archive evening. Other topics would be the Royal Air Force, Stour Valley Railway and histories of the Chilton district of Sudbury and of Liston Hall. Visits in mind were to Bulmer Brickworks and the Stow Maries Great War aerodrome near Maldon. There was also the exciting prospect of an interview by Ashley with Lord Phillips on boyhood memories of Sudbury. So there’s a lot to look forward to and guests and new members will be warmly welcomed at any meeting.

Contact Clare (01787 311337) or Lynda (01787 281434 for further details

Next meeting: 13th February 7.30pm Foxearth Village Hall for Film Archive

Ken Nice

Foxearth & Liston Parish Council – Report of Meeting held on 10th November 2018

A meeting of the Council took place on Saturday 10th November with Cllr. Tony Clayton in the Chair. There were 8 local residents present.

Chairman’s update: With regard to the Liston quiet lane the Chairman had noticed a reduction in traffic speed. In response to a question from the District Council it was agreed not to have the verges cut.

Essex County Council report: Council Leader Cllr David Finch stated that work was proceeding on the budget for 2019/20 with the objective of saving £50m and reducing expenditure to £900m a year. More outside contracts and the renegotiation of some would be considered. One-time grants are available for highway repairs. Thought is being given to further devolvement of some functions and funds to parishes. Essex schools continue to perform above the national average.

District Council report: Cllr Iona Parker confirmed – as recently reported in the press – that the Sudbury by-pass project had been abandoned. The District Council had been selected for a pilot scheme on the production of identifcation at the local elections next May. (It was understood that two items would be required giving rise to some discussion that this would possibly disenfranchise young or elderly people who might not have a driving licence or passport). BDC takes the problem of fly-tipping very seriously and will prosecute offenders. The Council is looking at improving support for people who are lonely by a “Meet up Mondays” initiative.

Housing Needs Survey: The Clerk reported that the RCCE had collated responses to the questionnaire relating to Mr David Fahie’s suggestions for the provision of affordable housing in Foxearth; 38% of households in the village had taken part. An email from Mr Fahie setting out his views on some of the survey’s conclusions was  circulated to councillors.

Public Participation Session: In response to a question about the refurbishment of the Foxearth village sign the  Clerk stated that Mr Steven Binks would undertake the work next April/May. Regarding the Stafford Park development it was enquired whether affordable housing figured in the plan. It was recalled that about two years ago the original proposal included some two-bed houses but there was no information as to the stage that planning has now reached. Concern was raised about neccessary strimming of footpaths and the annual nuisance of leaves on the roads and pavements. The Clerk would contact the EALC about the “Handyman” grant.

Defibrillator: Cllr. Mark Posen reported that this equipment had now been installed and that some familiarization sessions will be held for residents – probably in the New Year.

Fibre Broadband: Cllr Posen said that he had been unable to obtain any latest information from County Broadband about this installation. Road closures had been scheduled for next year but it was apparent that target dates would not be met.

War Memorial: Cllr Corinne Cox – in her role as Secretary of the Parochial Church Council – reported that funds are now secured and a contractor appointed for this repair. Permission for the go-ahead was still awaited from the Diocesan Chancellor.

Tree Warden: The resignation of Mr Alan Fitch from this voluntary position was received and he was thanked for his past service. Attempts would be made to fill the vacancy and anyone interested should contact the Clerk.

Planning: No objections were expressed to applications for tree work in Foxearth, the construction of a storage facility at Foxearth Fisheries and the conversion of a barn and cart lodge to residential use in Liston.

Next meeting: 26th January 2019 at 9.45am in Foxearth Village Hall


Kenneth Nice , Orchard Cottage, Foxearth