COUNTRYSIDE NOTES November 2018 Winnie the Pooh

Andrew Stephen has been working on a book of villagers’ stories about family members who served in the Great War but there’s one character he hasn’t mentioned who, for generations of children became part of their family, also played a part in WW1. I spent my youth living close to Ashdown Forest, an unspoilt sandy ridge stretching between the North and South Downs of Kent and Sussex, from whence stories of my hero originated. Yes, you’ve guessed – its Winnie the Pooh, first written about by A A Milne in 1926 and brought to life by E H Shepard and Disney! On the edge of Ashdown Forest, in the village of Hartfield, there is a Pooh Bear shop which attracts people, young and old, from around the world. Pooh’s books have been translated into 33 languages including Latin! In 2002 the bear, described as having ‘little brain’ and addicted to ‘hunny’, became Japan’s best-selling character supposedly helping the Japanese to learn English (not sure about helping with the spelling though!)
Winnie began life in Canada. An English born Canadian soldier was being transported by train across the country for training in preparation to serve in WW1. The train stopped briefly at the small town of White River, Ontario. The soldier’s name was Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, a qualified veterinary officer. While taking the opportunity to stretch his legs he noticed a fur trapper trying to sell an orphaned six month old black bear cub. Colebourn proved to be a willing customer, purchased the female cub for $20 and promptly named her ‘Winnie’ after his home town of Winnipeg. So it was that the bear accompanied him during several months of training, the trip by sea across to England followed by several more weeks training on Salisbury Plain. Eventually, in 1915, Colebourn was summoned to fight on the Western Front. He reluctantly accepted it was impossible to take Winnie with him so he left her in the care of London Zoo. Whenever he returned to England on leave he visited Winnie in her new home.
She was described as being the tamest and best behaved bear the zoo had ever had and children were allowed to ride on her back. When the war finally ended in November 1918 Colebourn realised there was no way he could take the fully grown bear back to Canada. Besides, his pet no longer belonged to him; she belonged to the people of London with whom she’d become so popular. It was a huge wrench for him to leave her behind when he returned home. A A Milne frequently took his young son Cristopher Robin to London Zoo where he fell in love with Winnie and named his own toy bear, originally called Edward, after her which then became the subject for so many delightful stories. In them the name of a swan called Pooh was added. I’m not sure though when Winnie turned yellow or the reason he acquired his red shirt in 1932. Colebourn’s Winnie died in 1934.

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Minutes of West Dereham Royal British Legion – September meeting

Chairman: Peter Starling

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of West Dereham Branch held at the Village Hall
Sunday 9 September 2018 at 12.00 pm
Members present (17):
Peter Starling (PS) – Chairman
Pam Bullas (PB)
David Bullas (DB)
Claire Cann (CC)
Nick Cann (NC) – Secretary
Mary Darton (MD)
Pearl Dossett (PDo)
Heather Foy (HF)
Tom Foy (TF) – Standard Bearer
Richard French (RF) – CSO (Welfare)
Paula Kellingray (PK) – Poppy Appeal Co-ord
June Kellingray (JK)
Doug Lawson (DL)
Fred Lucas (FL) – Downham Market & District Branch 0635
Pam Walker (PW)
Jack Walker (JW) – Vice Chairman
Claire Williams (CW) & Simon
Also present: Phyllis French
1. The Chairman opened the West Dereham Branch’s Annual General Meeting at the end of its fourth year in existence. The words of the fourth verse of Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem: ‘For the Fallen’ were read out by the Chairman. Apologies for absence had been received from: Alexander Cann, Peter Darton, Dick Elmer, Maureen Elmer, Lorraine Hunt (Treas), Judith Lawson, Frances McMenemy, Michael McMenemy, Judy Moon, Laurence Moon, Jean Starling, Alice Warby. (12)

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Wereham News – November

Wereham Craft Group.

By the time you all get to read this we will have had our craft fair. We hope everyone who visited liked what they saw and were able to do some early Christmas shopping. We have been busy sewing and knitting Poppies for Ian’s world war one display on 10th November. As well as fund raising for the village hall we continue with knitting baby blankets for Project Linus. Please contact me if you would like information on anything that we do. Rosemary.
Tel 01366 501330, or 07749240606. E-mail

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Minutes of the meeting held on October 3rd
Mrs Armsby welcomed 14 members.
APOLOGIES were received from Jenny Elsey, Gillian Smith & Audrey Hudson.
It was decided that the Harvest Supper should be eaten straightaway, & the business left until later.
Everyone tucked into a meal of ham, pork pie, jacket potatoes & a selection of salads, followed by homemade apple pies with custard or cream.
Mrs Armsby thanked members for providing such a tasty meal.
Business was then resumed, & the minutes of the previous meeting were read & signed.
ARISING…..Mrs Cooper reported that her coffee morning for Macmillan, had raised the amazing total of £1450, & she thanked everyone for their support.
Anita Horgen presented Mrs Armsby with a card for her October birthday. There will be one in November.
The Christmas meal was discussed, & members voted to go back to the Foldgate again this year. The set menu consists of three courses, but because of the very ample portions, Mrs Hearne will ask if we can have just a main & a pudding, & arrive at 6.45 for 7pm.
November meeting will be the AGM. All expense claims to be given to Jenny Elsey as soon as possible. Mrs Armsby reminded everyone that a new programme secretary will be required for next year.
Teas …………….. Janet Burns &Carol Thulbourne
Door & raffle….Anita Horgen & Hazel Hearne
The raffle was then drawn, & with several extra prizes, there were many lucky winners.
The meeting ended at 9.30pm.
Claire Lankfer
( secretary )

November Gardening.

November is a quiet month in the garden and mostly a time to catch up, clear up and weed. I find after being shut indoors in bad weather it is lovely to get outside into the garden on milder days and clear up. I always feel better after spending time in the garden.
We’ve all done it. Planted a tree, shrub or climbing plant somewhere in the garden, only to realise a later that it’s in totally the wrong place! Sometimes they have outgrown their space or don’t do very well in a particular spot. Perhaps they just don’t look quite right with their neighbours and you spot a far better place somewhere else, but moving plants isn’t like rearranging furniture. You need the right time and technique. Late autumn is a great time to move deciduous shrubs and trees (ones that lose their leaves). Follow these simple steps:
Prepare in Advance:
1. Wherever possible, before lifting and moving, start by pruning back up to one-third to half of the stems and top growth – this will reduce the stress on the plant’s roots and so aid more successful re-establishment.
2. The day before moving, water the soil around the plant thoroughly. This will ensure the roots are fully charged with moisture and reduce stress.
3. Have the new hole dug and ready, so you can transplant straight away. This should be the width of the expected root spread, plus an extra 30-45cm (12-18in). Fork over the bottom of the hole and add some bulky, well-rotted organic matter.
Time to move:
4. When you’re ready to move the plant, dig up as big a rootball as possible that you – or you and a friend or two – can safely lift and move. Ideally, this should be as wide as the spread of the branches. Cut through thicker roots and once you’re down about 45cm, start to undercut the rootball deeply, chopping with a spade.
5. Once the shrub comes free, drag the rootball onto sacking or tarpaulin sheet and carry it to its new planting site between two people.
6. Replant in the prepared hole. Sprinkle the roots with mycorrhiza fungi and add more organic material to the excavated soil, so that the rootball sits at the same level as it was originally, and is covered with no more than an inch or so of soil. Firm the soil around the rootball as you fill in the hole.
7. Finally, water in well after moving and for the first year during prolonged dry periods, and mulch the soil to retain soil moisture. Tall shrubs and trees may well need staking to help keep the roots secure while the plant is re-establishing.
Top Tips for November:
• Prune rose bushes by half to prevent damage from wind rock
• Net Brassicas and Gooseberries to prevent damage from birds
• Clean slippery paths and driveways
• Prune apple and pear trees. (don’t prune stone fruit)
• Place grease bands around fruit trees to protect them from winter moths.
• Raise plant pots onto pot feet to prevent water logging.
• Plant tulip bulbs.
• If you are planning on having a bonfire check carefully before they are lit for sheltering and hibernating animals, such as hedgehogs, toads and frogs.
Whatever November brings, I hope you are able to enjoy some time in your garden.
Rachel Sobiechowski, P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon, Suffolk, IP27 0PW