Boughton News - March
BOUGHTON PARISH COUNCIL – NEWSLETTER MARCH 2013
Although both the Parish Council Meetings, held four times a year, which are open to the public, and the minutes of those meetings are posted on the G4N website, your Parish Council recognises that many parishioners are unable to either attend the meetings or have access to the minutes on line.
In order to ensure that parishioners are kept more abreast of the activities of the Council we shall be issuing a quarterly newsletter to summarise what the Council are doing. This newsletter will appear in the printed edition of the G4 News, on-line and by e-mail to those who are on the distribution list. For those of you who receive this via the G4 News, but not by e-mail, why not drop a line to email@example.com and we will add you to the distribution for future issues.
Over the past quarter we have continued to maintain the village in good order, as well as keeping the green mowed, contributed to the upkeep of the churchyard and replaced or maintained the various signage and street furniture around The Green and outside the playground. Late last year we had a working party around the pond, tidying growth, and trimming low hanging branches.
Planning in the village has been quiet recently with no applications of note to report.
Recently the Fen Sub-Committee has secured two awards for their work on Boughton Fen, which, with the help of Natural England, is the envy of many otherFensunder stewardship in the county. You may have noticed a new information board in the playground recently. This is one of several, the others being dotted around the fen, which gives information about the fen, the pathways, and some of the wildlife you might expect to see on your walks. We heartily recommend a walk around the fen, using the footpath markers and boardwalks to keep your feet out of water, and enjoy nature as it is intended.
But what is this costing you may ask? Well most of the work on the fen is supported via grants due to the hard work of the Fen Committee, as well as volunteers carrying out work parties during out-of-season times during the year. The remainder of the Council’s activities are of course supported by the Village precept of £1300 via your Council Tax. We are proud to record that for the third year running that the precept has been held at zero increase. This due to the hard work of the Council managing parish funds and also by the many, many hours of voluntary work put in by both councillors and parishioners alike. The Council would like to thank all those who have helped with our activities.
On the matter of councillors we have recently become two councillors short of the seven that make the full Parish Council. We are hoping to be able to bring positive news about co-option in our next newsletter.
Look out for the next update in late spring.
Boughton Parish Council
1. Over the last year Fincham bells have been ringing regularly again and people have said how good it is to hear them. They are a lovely light six and really should be rung into the future. However, we rely on ringers from outside the village with commitments to their own towers. It would be wonderful to start teaching some new recruits, interested in perpetuating an ancient English art which offers something of interest to a wide range of people. It encompasses music, mathematics, technical aspects, a hobby which can be practised all over the country at little cost and the company of others who are also interested. If you want to learn more, contact Stewart Waterston (347672) or come along to a practice. We meet on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays at7 pm. You don't have to be a churchgoer to be a bell ringer as it is a fascinating hobby in its own right.
2. News from All Saints
The newly restored window will have been reinstated by the time this magazine is printed. Many thanks to all who have helped raise funds, particularly a donation from the BVC. It’s good to see the community helping to keep up what is now our village hall as well as our church. It was good to see visitors from Denverand St Germans at the BreakfastChurchon Sunday 10th as more churches want to follow this pattern. Many thanks to Sandy and her team of helpers for arranging and producing such a friendly and enjoyable ‘alternative’ service. We had an interesting talk from Barbara, following the question she had been asked atShouldhamSchool ‘How do you know Jesus exists?’ She told us about the historical evidence, but the question of faith is for us to discover for ourselves.
There will be a service for Easter on the night of Saturday March 31st. This is the Easter vigil which we have held before and will include the first communion of Easter. It will start at8 pm, with fire, choir, candles and refreshments to follow! Do come along and join us.
I’ve already mentioned Open Gardens Day on the second Sunday in June. Please consider opening your garden. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but people love to come along and see and to chat about plants and gardens in general. If you can’t open yours, then think about helping either with lunches or teas, or by donating plants and other items for sale.
Memories of Childhood in Boughton (circa mid 1950’s) – Paul Rix Part 2
We, along with the rest of the village, didn’t have electricity, I did my homework by the light of a Tilley lamp! Drinking water came from a shared tap on the end of Claude Chapman’s outhouse [1, Manor Cottage] at the end of the lane. Water for washing was collected from the pond if your water butt was low. Most people had to collect it in buckets. Dad being Dad had a demountable tank on a set of wheels!
This was in the days of ‘coppers’ to boil the washing and heat the bath water. The trick was to place the tin bath as near as possible to the open fire box under the ‘copper’. Too close and you could burn yourself, too far away and you’d freeze. I can still remember the draught under the back door when the wind was in the north! It defeated all efforts to stop it.
Then came the luxury of light at the flick of a switch and clean water at the turn of the tap, no more torch lit trips to the outside loo, sitting there watching the shadows of spiders cast by the flickering candle light.
For Dad, it meant no more Friday evening cycle trips to Ernie English’s Garage in the Hight Street at Stoke Ferry with the ‘accumulators’ to get them charged so we could listen to the ‘wireless’. He used to take four in a rack, ours, Grans, Uncle ‘Hub’ his brother, and Claude Chapman’s.
Mentioning Uncle ‘Hub’, he was the head ‘pigman’ on the farm. He and Dad designed and built what was for then a large modern piggery, the ‘secret’ was the narrow passage up the middle with feeders either side. Along the outside walls was a wider passage, accessed by gates from the main pens, these gates just happened to be exactly the same width as the passage. The advent of tractors meant to ‘muck out’ all the pigman had to do was close off all of the gates and reverse a tailor made bucket through the passage. At the end was a pit, with a trailer backed into it so all the ‘muck’, in reality more like slurry, went straight into the trailer. All this was fine, very efficient. A job which used to take an hours hard work now achieved in minutes with the help of a Ford ‘Dexta’.
Fine, until you came to empty the trailer which was a standard petit 2 ton tipper, I’ll leave you to imagine what happened when you opened the tailgate to tip it out! Hub was pretty quick on his feet, but not that quick! I can remember him complaining to Dad about it, ‘can’t you do something about it?’ The solution he found was to cut the back off a new trailer and replace it with a fixed sloping back, problem solved! One of Roger Robinson’s son was a Director of Weeks Trailers, he saw this ‘wondrous invention’, patented it and the rest is history.
Back to our early years. A favourite pass time was to sit on the railings of The Chapel wall collecting car numbers. As there were only about six or seven in the village, a new one was a real prize!
If we had a couple of hours to spare then our usual ‘hideaway’ was the ‘newt pit’, opposite the end of the church yard, we used to sneak in through Mr Kellingrays overgrown garden at the bottom of Ted Smith’s plot. If we went through Ted’s garden there was the danger that Winnie might see us, as we weren’t really allowed to go to the ‘newt pit. I suppose it was quite dangerous, it was very deep under the tree trunk we used to sit on and none of us could swim! Our ‘spot’ was an eye shaped hole formed where two trunks had grown together, split, then grown together again. We would put a tiny tail of a brandling worm on our bent pin hooks tied to a piece of black cotton and lower it into the depths. Our usual prize was a stickle back, our ‘keep net’ was the obligatory jam jar.
Sometimes a ‘monster’ would loom out of the shadows and grab our worm, the ultimate prize was a male great crested newt!
As we grew, we got rods of one sort or another and began fishing the big pond which was much safer as the water was shallow and the bottom hard. Our quarry being the bright rudd which were abundant. In time many of the small ponds, like the ‘newt pit’ were stocked by us with these jewels, so we had our secret little hideaways. I remember being very sad when one very hot summer the fish in the ‘newt pit’ died, among them a huge eel.
It wasn’t long after this I started fishing for eels in the big pond. I actually caught a few weighing around 2 pounds, absolute monsters to us kiddies. Of course the others had to try! A certain David Cooper (alias Golly) got a bite off one, dropped his rod and ran away! Leaving me to land it! Nicky Reeve, a shepherd, from Eastmoor, who worked a lot for Roger Robinson came along and bought it off Golly for 2 shillings (10 pence) as I recall!!
We, by we I mean Golly and I, often used to go to the back of the White Horse and buy a bottle of Manns Brown which we would share on a hot afternoon fishing, keeping it cool between the reeds. My fishing/bird nesting mate Golly was one of the most accident prone kids I’ve ever come across, if he wasn’t falling out of trees, it was fish hooks in his fingers, or breaking an arm or leg! He always seemed festooned in bandages or was sporting a plaster or stitches.
Even at about five or six years old some of us used to go on long bike rides, the usual route being down Fen Road [now Oxborough Road], across Eastmoor to Barton Bendish and back to Boughton. We would rarely meet a car, there was so little danger then, the worst risk was falling off and getting gravel rash. We all took a sandwich and a drink in a glass bottle, no plastic then! Carried in our parents old gas mask bags! You could tell which farm our Dads worked on by the colour of our bikes, tractors came with a tin of paint in those days to keep them smart, blue for Ford, green for John Deere, orange for Alice Chalmers, grey, later red, for ‘Fergies’.
Other early memories like going to Richard’s [Clarke] at the Post Office to watch television a couple of times a week, flicker black and white, well shades of grey. Bill and Ben, The Wooden Tops, did we really like Andy Pandy? Then there were such heroes as Roy Rogers, The Cisco Kid and Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger, no Derby winner could have caught them up! A little later there was the game changing ‘CrackerJack’ with Eamonn Andrews and Double or Drop, why would kiddies want a cabbage? Then we got a tele of our own, About Anglia with Dick Joyce, anyone remember ‘Byegones’? Oh! And Michael Hunt with his bow ties and weather forecasts. No more homework by the light of a Tilly Lamp.
To be continued.........