The Messenger - Serving Gislingham, Mellis and the Thornhams

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May 2022

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May 2022

In Gislingham, there has been much discussion and comment on the future
of The Six Bells Pub. This month we bring you an update on the latest developments on pages 4 & 5.

As we rapidly approach the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, we reveal some of the plans for the event in Thornham on page 13 and Gislingham on pages 16 and 17, including details of the Children’s Fancy Dress competition at the Gislingham event.

This issue marks the 12th anniversary of this publication. I would like to thank the members of our publishing team, (past and present) who, regardless of their personal circumstances, have given up so much of their free time to help establish and publish this magazine over the years.

When we started in 2010, the magazine was just 32 pages, was printed entirely in black and white and was published just six times a year. There was no room to advertise local events or promote local clubs, organisations, or charities etc.

Over the years, as we generated more advertising revenue, we have been able to publish a 56 page magazine 11 times a year with a full colour centre spread. We are now delighted to be able to promote local events, clubs, organisations etc., free of charge and, in this issue alone, we are helping to promote 16 different events and approx. 20 different local groups.

However, this is all dependent on us having the revenue each year to continue to keep the colour and this number of pages. So, please don’t take what has become the norm over the past few years, as a “given”! – it is, once again, the time of year when we wait eagerly for our local businesses to renew their Messenger advertising subscriptions for another year, thereby allowing us to make the decisions on what can and can’t be included in the magazine going forward.

We want to continue providing a magazine that offers local information, supports local events, celebrates the achievements of local people and encourages the community spirit that we have in the area. We hope that the magazine meets the expectations of the residents and any suggestions and feedback are gratefully received.

Finally, I want to give a “shout out” to the Junior Road Safety Officers at Gislingham Primary School. Thank you for your email and appreciation! It makes our efforts worthwhile!

Until next month!

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April 2022

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April 2022

As Easter approaches, this issue is proof that there is lots going on in our villages over the next four weeks and beyond. (Unlike the previous two April’s when restrictions limited the organisation of many events).

I want to mention the new Mellis Farmers’ Market planned for Saturday 23rd April at the Mellis Memorial Hall. (Thereafter, every two weeks) – see pages 6 & 7 for more information.

This is a great initiative brought together by a group of residents – it deserves to be successful!

With the Platinum Jubilee Celebration plans well underway for Gislingham, volunteers are required to help out on the day, to cover a variety of tasks.

So, if you can spare an hour on the day, it would be much appreciated, so that the organisers are able to have some spare time in the day to enjoy the event too! Details can be found on page 53.

It is also that time of year when Gislingham Parish Council is looking for nominations for The Watson Bowl (awarded to a resident or residents in the Village who have contributed significantly to Gislingham in the previous year or years). Also last year, the Parish Council introduced a new award for ‘Volunteer of the Year’, so if you would like to nominate anyone for these awards, details can again be found within the Parish Council Notes on page 4.

Please don’t forget to support local independent businesses. This magazine is reliant on the revenue provided by the support of our loyal and valued advertisers. They provide employment for local people, and they are crucial to the wellbeing of our local economy.

On behalf of the Messenger team, may we wish you all a happy and enjoyable Easter. Until next month!

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February 2022

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February 2022

After our short seasonal break, welcome back to our first issue of 2022 which we hope you will find an interesting and of course informative read.

Despite there not being a publication in January, we have nonetheless been busy working on ways to refresh the magazine. Despite winning the ‘National Parish Magazine Awards in 2021’, we do not want to become complacent!

The first of these changes is our new look cover, and in terms of content, we have added a new monthly article, “Suffolk Mysteries” on page 26 & 27, and a “Connection Quiz” on page 47. We hope these will become popular additions to the magazine.

I am delighted to welcome Jo Clifford to the Messenger Committee as the designer of the magazine; as Goyle Weir leaves us, but not without thanks and gratitude for all his hard work over the past 6 years! Also, Mary-Jane Riley has decided to write her final article, so I have had to search far and wide for a replacement book reviewer! My thanks to Mary-Jane for her contribution over the past 5 years!

Despite the continuing effects of covid on all our lives, we must approach 2022 with a new spirit of optimism. This year will see HRH Queen Elizabeth celebrate her Platinum Jubilee and there will be celebrations held throughout the year, both nationally and locally. (See pages 4 & 5)

Gislingham Variety Club are back this year with their production of “Death in High Heels”, (Page 21.)

Finally, it is with great sadness, that I pay tribute on pages 8 & 9 to Thornham resident Alan King, who sadly passed away on December 30th. I met Alan on several occasions to take his photo and write articles about his recollections of 6th June 1944 for this magazine. Alan was a remarkable man, a quiet hero and hugely generous with his time.

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October 2021

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October 2021

I cannot believe we are now ten months into the year. But I guess
the weather over the past few weeks has been an indication that Autumn is now here and Winter is on its way! And as we launch our annual Children’s Christmas Artwork competition, I make no apology for mentioning Christmas already! Full details can be found on Page 7. The winning entry will appear on our December cover.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the annual Gislingham Flower Festival took place in St. Mary’s Church with the theme of “A Day to remember”. Once again, a fantastic event, so we have devoted three colour pages to present a selection of photos of the displays. Apologies for not having room to show them all. But all arrangements are shown on our Facebook page.

Looking ahead, there are lots of events to support in our villages. (See our Dairy page overleaf). It is encouraging to learn that the two Thornham Film Nights in September were complete sell-outs. And the Quiz Night at Gislingham Village Hall in December is also a sell-out!

Gislingham residents will receive a questionnaire with this issue of the magazine, to ascertain the demand for additional sports activities at the village hall. Your participation in completing the questionnaire would be much appreciated by the Village Hall Committee.

Finally, our November issue has a deadline of October 18th, with the magazine going to print, a couple of days later. (Due to holidays). Therefore, the more submissions prior to this date would be much appreciated.

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September 2021

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September 2021

This month, there is more evidence of our villages getting back to
some sort of pre-covid normality. You will see overleaf, a variety of local events to enjoy over the next few weeks, including the popular ‘Thornham Film Night’ which is back in September.

Mellis Village Hall is re-open and available to hire and Mellis residents will receive a questionnaire with this issue of the magazine, to ascertain the potential demand for sports activities at the hall. This is all part of an initiative set-up by Mid-Suffolk District Council to help rural village halls set-up new sustainable sports clubs, to help get people active. Your participation in completing the questionnaire would be much appreciated by the Mellis Memorial Hall Committee! (Next month a similar questionnaire will be included for Gislingham residents, with regards to possible future activities at Gislingham Village Hall.)

It is easy to take from granted the “simple” things we have enjoyed over the years withing our villages, such as Film Nights at Thornham Village Hall, Book Sales, Quiz Nights, and the annual Gis-Fest at Gislingham Village Hall, etc.

But re-opening village hall facilities and planning to put these events back on, is not as “easy” as it used to be. Many people within our villages give up much of their spare time to support these facilities and local organisations to help put on these events. Please support them.

Additionally, there are calls for volunteers. There are vacancies on the Gislingham Parish Council, and on page 25 you will see the Gislingham Speed Watch Team are looking for additional help. The Suffolk Local History Council are looking for volunteers in Mellis and Gislingham, on page 41. And I am sure there are some organisations within our villages that could do with some extra help too! So, if you want to get involved and help get village life back to “normal” please come forward to offer help. I am sure it will be greatly appreciated by many of the local organisations.

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August 2021

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August 2021

The sun is shining and with lockdown restrictions now lifted, we can
finally spend some quality time with our friends and family. It has been a long journey to get to where we are now and, as Boris likes to remind us, we still need to approach the future with caution. This pandemic is certainly not over! Let’s sensibly celebrate what we have all achieved together as we build back bigger, better and stronger.

As you will see in this issue, there are various events to enjoy within our villages with various clubs and groups resuming. (For example, it is great to see Gislingham Variety Club advertising on page 17 for new members, with plans for a future production in mind).

As I reflect on the past month, whether you are a football fan or not, there were plenty of reasons to feel inspired, moved even, by England’s performances during the European Championship. For 4 weeks, it was just what the nation needed after the last 18 months we’ve had to endure. The spirit of the players, whose commitment never wavered throughout the tournament, the nobility of their manager, Gareth Southgate, who has been an exemplar to those in public life throughout the competition. And the sheer, unbridled delirium of the Wembley crowd, who had waited 55 long years to see the England men’s team reach a major final! It certainly brought the Nation together for 4 weeks. What a pity that it took just over 120 minutes on Sunday 11th July, for our dreams to be shattered, and so- called English football fans managed to tarnish all the good things to come out of the tournament up until that point! As the dust settles, hopefully as a nation we will remember the positives, and reflect upon and learn from the negative aspects.

My apologies to those of you that are glad that’s it’s all over and are delighted that TV programming has returned to normal. And my congratulations to any Italian nationals reading this. Over the 120 minutes, the better team won!

From everyone at The Messenger, we wish you a happy, positive and cheerful month.

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July 2021

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July 2021

Slowly but surely, we have an increasing number of local events to look
forward to in the forthcoming months, which is especially important for the organisers, as they are fund-raising events for charities or local amenities. So, as, and when we can, it is important we get out and support them! (Details are listed on page 2).

The importance of our local communities has never been so prevalent, and at the centre of these are local businesses which have supported and served us over the years and where possible through the pandemic. Now is our time to support them too. In Suffolk, the shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres, and many other local businesses form an integral patchwork quilt each as diverse as the next. Without them we will just be a society of next day deliveries. So, remember to support them as much as possible. And the local pubs..... need you!

In this issue, we have an interview with 21-year-old, Mellis resident Eva Hubbard who captains the Ipswich Town ladies football team. (Pages 16/17).

We feature the story of Eileen and Tim Tordoff, who have created the Tin Shed Flower Farm on Mellis Common. (Pages 24/25).

If there are any children (or adults) interested in playing Cricket, there are details about Mellis Cricket Club (Pages 32/33) – they are always looking for new players!

Have you got a talent? – Gis-Fest is returning this year, in the form of a “Late Summer Bar- B-Q” Chris Saunders is looking for talent, to perform at the event. I’ve already thrown my hat in! (Page 15).

Add to these our usual articles, which are a mix of cooking, reading, history, nature, and consumer advice etc., we hope amongst all this positive content, there will be something of interest to everyone.

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June 2021

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June 2021

As life starts to re-open post-lockdown, we actually have a few
events to publicise, and our Dairy page overleaf lists these. The Mobile Library has returned to Gislingham, the Post Van is back to visiting Gislingham twice a week (see page 48 for details). Also, Thornham Bowls Club is now open and looking for new members.

Mellis has been enjoying a bit of a spring clean! – The Village sign has been re- painted, and a team of volunteers have cleaned up and re-painted the phone box. (Pages 12 & 13).

As we come out of lockdown, we want to feature all local clubs and groups, particularly for children to join.

There are a number of residents who have moved to our villages in the last 18 months. Many of these families with children are new to this part of Suffolk. Moving to a new area in the middle of a pandemic cannot be easy! If you run a club, class or group locally, please contact me with some details, so we can feature it in a forthcoming issue.

This month we have a first for The Messenger – probably of particular interest to our male readers – she is 30 years old, lives in Gislingham, and her name is Layla. (Pages 14 & 15). If you own a vintage car and would like us to feature it in a future issue, please send me some details.

Finally, on pages 4 & 5 – Julie Bell, Chair of Gislingham Parish Council details the winners of two annual village awards. We would like to congratulate Martyn Bryant who was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” award by Gislingham Parish Council. In addition, The Watson Bowl was awarded to The Messenger Team. This award is a testament to the team’s hard work and commitment in 2020. The team consists of 32 people, who continued to fulfil their individual roles throughout the pandemic. Our “non-committee” Team Members are listed on Page 7.

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May 2021

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May 2021

A year ago, we highlighted the problems of litter, vandalism, and anti-social
behaviour on Charities Meadow. Then just as the problems seemed to have gone away, the sun comes out and Gislingham Parish Council once again receives reports of similar problems to a year ago.

For guidance, we publish ‘The Countryside Code’ on page 3, and Julie Bell, Chair of Gislingham Parish Council gives an update on the current situation in her report on pages 4 and 5.

A number of residents and members of the Parish Council are cleaning up after other people on a regular basis on Charity Meadow and around the village. As soon as details of any Village Litter Pick events are organised by the respective Parish Councils, we will publish details on our Facebook page and in the magazine. These events are always so well supported.

Since the last issue, Coronavirus lockdown measures have been relaxed, with all non- essential shops allowed to re-open including pubs, albeit for outdoor customers only. We caught up with our three local pubs to find out what their plans are for the future, pages 12 and 13. They will need the continued support of the local communities to help them bounce back!

Finally, this issue marks the 11th anniversary of this publication. I would like to thank the members of our publishing team, who regardless of their personal circumstances, continue to give their free time to help publish this magazine and we hope that it meets the expectations of the residents. Any suggestions and feedback gratefully received.

We are determined to be here to support our local communities and businesses, as we have done for the past 11 years. We want to continue providing a magazine that offers local information, celebrates and shares our great community spirit, (even if it is picking up all the rubbish left by others), supports local events (when life gets back to normal), and the achievements of local people etc.

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April 2021

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April 2021

Thankfully, the days are getting longer, and the daffodils are coming
into bloom which signals that Spring is on the way. As signs of new life appear all around us, as lockdown restrictions slowly ease, and more and more of us are receiving the vaccine, we hope you will feel a renewed sense of optimism.

Normally at this time of year, I am introducing an edition packed with details of all the local events organised for the Spring / Summer. Unfortunately, for the second year running, that is not the case.

However, within this issue, you can read about: - The benefits of walking, along with a suggested local walk; Eating Out at The White Horse, Stoke Ash – to get us in the mood, for when pubs are eventually allowed to re-open; and in this Easter issue, we have to include something about chocolate!

Add to that our usual mix of gardening, reading, cooking and nature notes etc., and we hope we have something of interest to everyone.

I have been asked to mention, Gislingham Parish Council is looking for nominations for The Watson Bowl (awarded to a person in the Village who has volunteered to give their own time to enhance village life). If you would like to nominate some- one, details can be found within the Parish Council Notes on page 4.

Please don’t forget to support your local independent businesses. This magazine is reliant on the revenue provided by the support of our loyal and valued advertisers. Please mention The Messenger when you contact them. They provide employment for local people and they are crucial to the wellbeing of our local economy.

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March 2021

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March 2021

March marks the month we should be getting out to start our gardening jobs for 2021. (Well, there’s not a lot else we can do!)

Research regularly demonstrates that outdoor activities (including exercise and gardening), the presence of plants and trees and seeing natural views from a window can all lower stress hormone levels and improve adults’ and children’s mental health, well-being and productivity. Being absorbed in gardening can distract your attention away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

It also gives us the opportunity to do our little bit for Planet Suffolk! As individuals we may not be able to make much difference on a global scale, but we certainly can on a local level. We all know that Mother Nature is currently struggling and needs a helping hand.

We can all do a little bit in our own back gardens. It could be putting up bird tables, nest boxes, putting out food and water for birds and wildlife, planting wildflowers etc. In this issue, we feature tips on what we can do to help hedgehog numbers (Pages 6 & 7).

At the time of writing, we can’t go anywhere or barely meet anyone, but we can walk locally, which is essential for our mental and physical well-being. This month we detail in our centre pages a walk around Thornham Magna via Wickham Skeith. Next month we will suggest another local walk.

Another thing we are still allowed to do, is care for our local environment. 7-year-old, Alice Collier, has been walking everyday around Gislingham with her family and has been disappointed by the amount the amount of rubbish she has been seeing left on the ground. She and her family have been clearing up the rubbish left by others, as part of their daily exercise walk. So, Alice has provided a poster appealing for everyone to follow her 8-point “Please Clean Up” campaign, which we have published on Page 30. So, here’s your chance to do a little bit for the both the village and the environment. In addition, we highlight the dangers of discarded face masks. – “Snip the straps” on page 31.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue.

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February 2021

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February 2021

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, few of us could have known how 2020 would unfold and the huge impact of covid-19 would have on our lives. This shared experience has affected us all in different ways. But as this new year begins, we must approach it with a new spirit of optimism and hope.

The Messenger will continue to update you with help and support available to you, as well as news and stories from around the villages, and of course, our regular articles.

In this issue, on pages 2 & 3, we pay tribute to Bob Moyes, who sadly passed away on December 23rd.

As events return to the calendar and they will at some point, we’ll bring you details of things to do, and events to support.

In the meantime, has something positive come out of lockdown for you? Maybe you’ve started a new home business, taken up a new hobby, or learnt a new skill. Please email me your positive stories! I think we all need to be sharing some positivity at the moment, and in this issue for example, we feature the BBC Radio Suffolk’s recognition for “Wendy the Postie” on page 7, and details of “Ruth’s act of kindness” on page 27.

Please note, our March issue has an early deadline date of 14th February, please send your contributions as soon as possible.

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November 2020

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November 2020

November is the traditional time of the year when we remember
those who gave their lives for our Country in the two world wars. This year in our Remembrance article on pages 38 & 39, we feature a moving tribute focussing on the significance of the Belgium city of Ypres, where men from our villages lost their lives.

Like so many things this year, the Poppy Appeal has had to adapt to the threat of Covid-19. In the absence of any house to house collections this year, on page 15, we publish details of how you can obtain your Poppy locally. The Royal British Legion are asking the public to support them like never before, because every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community.

It might not feel like it this year, but Christmas is coming! An anxious time for various sectors of our economy such as retail, entertainment and hospitality. Many businesses depend on a busy Christmas trading period to see them through the leaner times of the year. This year will be even more critical, as late-night shopping and Christmas Fairs and markets are either difficult or impossible to organise in a safe way.

In the past two weeks two local businesses have announced their closures. The Thornham Coach House and The Manor House Public House & Restaurant in Wortham. Both served very good food, and I know were popular with local residents. Both these businesses will be sadly missed!

This news is clear proof that more than ever our independent businesses will need us to support them by shopping or eating and drinking locally. By doing so, we’ll be helping to secure local jobs and livelihoods.

At The Messenger we will continue to do our best to support and promote local businesses; by featuring them whenever possible within our pages with our “Focus on Business” features, encouraging and supporting their endeavours on Facebook and urging you, our reader’s to “use them, not lose them”

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October 2020

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October 2020

Just when our lives were returning to some sort of normality, those
thoughts seem to be short-lived! As I write this on September 19th, it appears as though we may be heading for another national lockdown, in October.

In these changing times The Messenger is making changes. Starting with the next issue, we are going to consolidate the ‘Diary plus’ content into the main body of the magazine. This will reduce duplication of content, simplify production and therefore reduce costs. It will also provide a single point of contact for contributors. Nothing will be lost, the ‘Regulars’, ‘Notices’, ‘For Sale/Wanted’ and ‘Free to a Good Home’ will still have a place in the magazine. And we will take this opportunity to refresh some aspects of the layout. To this end, since most of the “Regular” classes, clubs and groups are currently closed, please can you notify me when you resume, so that we can announce the re-openings.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Stanley, who for the past 10 1⁄2 years has compiled the ‘Diary plus’ for the magazine.

However, one thing is for sure this year. Christmas is coming! We won’t be doing all the things we normally do, but this year there is all the more reason to enjoy it! Once again, we launch our Christmas Artwork Competition for children to enter. The winning entry will appear on our December cover. (See page 5 for full details).

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September 2020

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September 2020

This month will bring more of a return to “normality” for some. All School
Children and Students will be returning to Education and we send our best wishes to them all, particularly those starting a new “Chapter” in their lives. Many will be starting nursery or primary school, moving up to High School, some will be going onto further education at Sixth Form Colleges, some are starting Apprenticeships, and some will be leaving home and going off to study at University. (But they go with the re-assurance that however much they will miss village life here is Suffolk, they’ll still be able to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the villages by reading all future issues of Messenger online, whether they are studying in Brighton, Durham, Loughborough or Leeds!).

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August 2020

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August 2020

Last month, you may have noticed the centre four pages of the magazine were missing! An unfortunate error by our printers and one which we only spotted after the magazines had been delivered to our distributors. However, within 24 hours of discovering the problem, we had put a link on our Facebook page, so that the entire magazine could be downloaded in pdf form. It can also be viewed on our website. Going forward all future editions will be accessible via our website, as well as in the current printed format.

It has been well documented on social media, and even BBC local Radio the on-going problems with litter, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour on Charities Meadow. The bit I don’t get is... we can blame the teenagers for the vandalism, the broken alcohol bottles and the drugs paraphernalia left there, as presumably, they can’t take those items home afterwards. But then despite the Parish Council having put up warning signs that the zip wire was closed, due to broken glass in the bark area; firstly, adults were seen with their children using the zip wire and when this was high-lighted the same day on social media, someone irresponsibly took down all the signs and put them in the rubbish bin. This has resulted in the Zip Wire having to be removed completely.

21⁄2 years ago, following the broadcast of the ‘Blue Planet 2’ TV programme on BBC1, there was raised awareness of the problems of plastic and rubbish, to wildlife and the environment. Sir David Attenborough’s award-winning second series was responsible for generating a surge of interest in plastic pollution and recycling. It was seen by over 14 million people (but clearly not everyone in Gislingham).

A number of residents and members of the Parish Council are cleaning up after other people on a regular basis on Charity Meadow. The problem is not exclusive to Gislingham! So bad is the litter problem throughout Suffolk currently that BBC Radio Suffolk have re- launched their “Don’t be a tosser!” litter campaign. The slogan will hopefully resonate with the very people it is aimed at! We can all do our little bit for the village(s) and the environment and together we can make ‘Planet Suffolk’ a greener and cleaner County.

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July 2020

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July 2020

Since the last issue, Coronavirus lockdown measures have been relaxed,
with schools opening for certain age groups, all non-essential shops allowed to re-open and people permitted to exercise an unlimited amount of times per day. Groups of up to six people from different households can now meet outside, Thornham Walks has re-opened (albeit with limited facilities) and even some English football has returned to our television screens. Happy days!

On the day I write this, the government has just reduced the coronavirus alert level from four to three - meaning there is likely to be a ‘gradual relaxation’ of more lockdown restrictions and by the magazine hits your door mat pubs and restaurants may also be able to reopen in some form. Signs that we are on our way to a slow return to some sort of normality.

However, charities are continuing to struggle to fill a £4 billion charity black hole caused by these unprecedented times. In this issue, we feature three charity fundraising initiatives that have taken place over the past month that have culminated in over £4000 being raised for charities. Thank you to everyone who has donated to these great causes!

In our continuing efforts to help support small local businesses, this issue we feature the first of our “Focus on Business” articles – pages 12 & 13.

There is one event to mention locally, a cake sale (page 8) on behalf of the Samaritans and St. Mary’s Church, Gislingham is due to take place on Saturday 4th July – please support this event!

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April 2019

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April 2019

April 2019 edition of the Messenger

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October 2018

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October 2018

October 2018 edition of the Messenger

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July 2018

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July 2018

Having returned from my annual holiday in the Greek Islands at the end of May, there was something quintessentially British about enjoying coffee and home-made cake at the ‘Hidden Gardens of Mellis’ just three days after returning. The weather was kind, the event so well organised and much credit should go to those involved. (We have featured a few of the gardens in the centre pages, along with a report on page 25).

In stark contrast atmospherically, but equally brilliantly attended and organised was the ‘not Gis-Fest’ live music event at Gislingham Village Hall on June 23rd. Some great live music by local bands, it was good to see the younger generation helping with the bar-b-q and refreshments. The Village Hall Green was packed with people enjoying the music, a few drinks and even at one point consuming all the bar-b-q food on offer, until reinforcements arrived.

The summer events are certainly coming thick and fast….

On 14thJuly, Gislingham holds its annual Summer Fayre, an event always very well-supported which brings the community together for a day. Slightly further afield, we also feature details of the Suffolk Dog Show. (Well it does have a Gislingham connection) and I am sure many of the dogs in Gislingham will be in attendance at Helmingham Hall on 29thJuly.

Finally, a couple of congratulations are in order. Mr. Gary Avis was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours. Despite being extremely busy with a brand-new production of Swan Lake, he spared us time for our article on page 3.

Also, to Tom Parkhurst on reaching his 10th birthday – (or should I say anniversary?) at the Four Horseshoes. I went along for a coffee and a chat (see pages 10/11) and in true celebratory mood, he has very kindly given readers a 10% off food voucher on (Page 19). Our congratulations and thanks to both.

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June 2018

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June 2018

This issue marks our 8th year of publication! As we put the finishing touches to this issue the day after the Royal Wedding, it seems appropriate to use a red, white and blue photo for our cover, taken just along The Mall from Buckingham Palace. And our interview this month includes details of Josie Cottam's recent meeting with HRH the Princess Royal.

In the past few issues, we have featured various residents' charity fund-raising plans and we include reports on the success of two of these in this issue. Gary Cobbold and his band of merry- men completed their epic 84-mile walk across Hadrian's Wall in just four days.

Also, as our cover photo proves, Kevin Cook completed the London marathon and raised a staggering £7,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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May 2018

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May 2018

As 2018 develops into longer days and warmer weather, now is the time to "get out and get healthy!".

We are blessed in Suffolk with beautiful landscapes, a vibrant arts scene, world-class cultural heritage, picturesque villages, welcoming pubs, farmers markets selling local produce and many unique independent shops within our market towns and villages. So the next few months are an ideal opportunity to get out and enjoy the delights of Suffolk, both locally and also further afield.

So why not support local shops, pubs and businesses and help boost the local economy rather than the High Street Chain stores? Research shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium sized business 63p stays in the local economy.

In this edition: In conversation with Mellis resident Gordon Clark about his plans to cycle 506 miles in 5 days with 'Ride 25' across Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey in support of the 1moreChild charity.