DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 pm
ON THURSDAY 2 AUGUST 2018
NEW DRAMA GROUP We are aiming to set up a new drama group for Wereham and all of the surrounding villages. It is anticipated that we shall meet regularly in the Wereham Village Hall.
Open to all ages, we are not only looking for people who enjoy acting and singing, but also those who would like to try their hand at directing, stage management or set design.
Can you help to make sets and costumes or props? Or perhaps you have skills in lighting and sound which would be invaluable to us.
On Aug 1st at 10am, 17 members & friends left Stoke Ferry on a Harrods coach trip.
Our first stop was the lovely old Lincolnshire town of Stamford. Here we saw a large proportion of beautiful old listed buildings, which gave the feeling of going back in time, in spite of having a high street with plenty of shops to browse in.
After a nice lunch, the coach took us on to Rutland Water, where we boarded the Rutland Belle, a pleasure cruiser that that gives tours around the lake. While cruising we were served with a lovely afternoon cream tea, and listened to a commentary telling us the history of the area.
The reservoir is man-made, and began construction in 1971 to provide water to the surrounding area. It took 4 years to complete & a further 4 to fill. Many homes and farms, & even one whole village were lost. One landmark that was preserved was St Matthew’s church, once the private church for the Normanton Estate. It is now a museum, and given access via a specially built causeway.
The dam is 1200 metres long, but is barely visible because of the landscaping. Extensive nature reserves have attracted a number of endangered species, especially the osprey.
Rutland Water has become an important tourist attraction offering something for everyone, including sailing, cycling, bird watching and walking.
After a very interesting day, we returned to Stoke Ferry at 6pm.
Everyone thanked Mrs Gillian Smith for organising such a lovely trip.
With my new job I’d just moved to Colchester to manage 4 BT restaurants in the area. But I wasn’t there long before I moved to what became my favourite place of work – Bletchley Park. This was a Residential Training Centre for BT managers and engineers.
The atmosphere of the place was magical. Winston Churchill had held his war meetings in the office I was given to work from and my first task each morning was to shoo the ducks and hedgehogs from the foyer of the big house. But then BT moved from Bletchley Park to open a brand new Training Centre at Kent’s Hill, Milton Keynes which I helped them open. I now had 200 bedrooms, 80 classrooms, 2 x 3 storey office blocks, a gym with giant swimming pool, bars and restaurants to manage.
That I could do. My big challenge in Milton Keynes was navigating all the roundabouts. The town was designed like a chess board, so there are 64 ways to get to the same place, with a roundabout at every intersection. One day, when I was completely lost, I’m absolutely certain I went round every single one of them!
Then I was Head-hunted by Perkins Engines. They could not find anyone suitable to manage their growing catering requirements. So, I went back to them, and after a while I was promoted to Area Manager. That turned my life upside down! I had 18 catering facilities to oversee, one as far north as Glasgow, and one as far south as Faversham in Kent. I stayed overnight in hotels, took a weekly flight to Glasgow for the day, and on Friday afternoons always found myself stuck in the tailback at the Dartford Tunnel, not making it home until 9.0 pm.
That wasn’t the worst of it! In this order I had a burst appendix, lost my partner of 30 years, had a serious road accident, and moved house to Northampton.
I moved to Northampton to make it easier to travel around as it was near the M1, so gave faster access to the rest of the country – and then I changed my job again. The places I now visited and managed had varied catering requirements, from private butler service and cocktail dinner parties, to all day breakfasts for lorry drivers, and vending machines for drinks and snacks, as well as major Banks with a different branded coffee shop on each floor, the News of the World and Sun, the High Court in London, BP headquarters, and others.
This firm I now worked for had Headquarters in Millbank towers with panoramic views of London. But I found the travelling and staying away from home very tiring, so I transferred to a different division of the Company – their Refreshment Services with its own brand of coffee.
I became an Essex girl again when I relocated to Bishop Stortford as the General Manager for selling and distributing the branded coffee supplies and machines around London and the South East. I was based in an office with a telesales team, a team of sales persons and a warehouse with 5 lorries and vans transporting the coffee and machines to customers. My daily travelling didn’t stop. I had to visit clients who were buying our coffee. Many of these were High Street restaurants, hotels and railway stations – in fact any location that sold freshly brewed coffee.
The hot weather has sapped our energy but we have been cracking on with sorting out the house. All bar two of the rooms are now completely habitable and I am able to put the “stuff” stored in the double garage and my storage unit down the road on the backburner, to be dealt with at leisure. It is lovely being so near four of our children and we are beginning to feel more settled.We do miss all of you in Norfolk.
The garden has different wildlife from the Norfolk garden. There are no pheasants but we do have two rabbits and several marauding cats who come to visit. The garage has a mouse and our attempts to lure bird life have been interesting. We have a pair of very fat pigeons and a pair of very fat magpies who monopolised the bird feeding system and frightened off all the little birds. I managed to turn this situation around by protecting one of the seed feeders with a hanging squirrel excluding cage. It also excludes magpies and pigeons so we now have plenty of finches, tits and other small birds all chomping away within the cage, well out of reach of the big birds.
One treat has been a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers with their youngsters. The youngster sits on one of the bird tables while a parent travels backwards and forwards from the peanut feeder, breaking off bits of peanut and feeding them to the youngster.
Our friend Daniel and his team kindly brought all our pot plants over here. They look splendid on the back patio, surrounding the lovely bench given to us by the congregation of St George’s Church, and I have been watering them well. However, a holiday looms, friend Barry who used to help me out, still lives in Feltwell and son Grant cannot be watering every day so I got out a pack of those spout things that you screw onto plastic bottles, fill them with water and insert into the soil. Then, over the course of a week, the water dribbles into the soil and keeps the plant going. I had cracked it! A test run a couple of weeks before the holiday saw the bottles all empty within an hour so that was an heroic failure. Move on to plan B – stand all the pots in a shady position in large plastic trays full of water. Grant will visit when he can to top them up.
We have an Arts Centre (The Artrix) just down the road in Bromsgrove. Sometimes, it is a cinema, at other times, it is a theatre, and so on. We went to see an Abba tribute show one Saturday evening a couple of weeks ago.the place was packed out with well fed ladies of a certain age, all gyrating madly. I had managed to buy two of the last four tickets and this put us high up at the side rear of the room – useless view but I had a great time watching the lighting engineer whose console was just below our seats. I really hate it at these shows when everyone in front stands up, gyrates and blocks my view. We certainly did not suffer from this on that occasion! We returned to watch the new Mamma Mia film last Friday morning (free coffee and biscuits thrown in for our £6 pensioner tickets) In common with half the cinema, we found it extremely emotional and I would be interested to hear your comments as and when you see the film. Another Friday, Deannie dragged me along to see a french film “Let the Sunshine in” with Juliette Binoche. The first half hour was unashamedly and embarrassingly pornographic – I nearly choked on my free coffee and biscuits – and berated Deannie for making me go and see such a film. The next hour was about the actress ruminating about how she was being “used” by all the men, including her ex-husband, who kept popping in for a quick relationship. Eventually, she decided that she really was being used and told them all to clear off. As we left, Management and I agreed with the other four cinema goers that it was a deep, powerful and totally confusing film.
A young couple returned from honeymoon and, while putting away all their wedding presents, they came across and envelope containing two “impossible to get” theatre tickets accompanied by a note “Guess who sent you these?”. They were really touched that someone could be so thoughtful but could not work out the identity of the donor. They returned from the theatre to find their house ransacked and everything stolen. The note on the table said “Now you know who sent them”………A librarian was woken at 3am by a man who wanted to know what time the library would open in the morning. The librarian berated him but told him 9am. “Not until then?” came the reply. “Why do you want to get in before then?” asked the librarian. “I don’t want to get in – I want to get out” Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet