11th April 2020

Village News and Events

in Boxted and Langham

Welcome to this week’s newsletter which includes some accounts of how people are adjusting their lives to cope with staying at home and social distancing.

If you wish to have an item included in this newsletter, please submit by Thursday 5pm at the latest. Thank you.

Stay safe everyone.

Beautiful Boxted

Following on from last week’s rainbow photo, here’s another uplifting view taken by Tony Webb.

Essex Libraries service update

Keep the kids entertained with Rhymetimes and keep yourself entertained with online library services.

View Essex Libraries services updates here.

Village life in lockdown

As we all start to settle into a new kind of ‘normal’, some of the locals have shared their experiences and how they’re coping with life in these strange times.

Jean – missing friends but loves her birds!

Jean, who currently has her sister living with her recovering from a broken hip, doesn’t like having to stay at home but is making the best of it. She has picked up her knitting needles and made a teapot cosy, which she laughingly says she doesn’t really want. Cooking and gardening also keep her occupied and she is thankful for her garden which means she can get out in the fresh air and potter.

She is so grateful for the help she is getting from the Boxted volunteers who are collecting and delivering shopping for her and has enjoyed a delicious Sunday lunch delivered straight from the Hub.

She misses the social interaction with her friends who cannot visit her home for a coffee and a chat. She enjoys daily chats to her neighbour at a safe distance of 2 metres over the fence but says it is not the same.

Jean is a member of Mile End Church and has appreciated the weekly newsletter that they have been putting through her door to keep in touch.

A highlight of the day are the daily visits from a blackbird and a black pheasant and his two wives which come in from the fields near Jean’s home.

The blackbird flew into the window and broke its beak some time ago and it also has only one and a bit legs! However, he now has become so tame that he comes into Jean’s kitchen every day to get fed. Bird food is an essential part of the shopping collected by volunteers that will be added to Jean’s list.


Jim puts his own stamp on postal delivery

Jim has reliably carried on delivering to his round in Boxted. He says there are less letters to deliver but more packets due to people being at home and doing more online shopping. If he needs to knock at the door he is careful to stand well back when the door is answered and he puts the packet on the ground for the householder to pick up. He appreciates the quieter less congested roads.

We probably weren’t aware but Jim starts his day at 6.30 am where he spends three hours in the sorting office at East Gates before starting deliveries. The first round of sorting is carried out at Chelmsford sorting office and then postmen do the next layer of sorting into their individual rounds.

It takes longer in the sorting office due to everyone having to work two metres apart.

Jim knows most of the residents on his round and takes it upon himself to do extra duties such as shooing chickens back into gardens. The chickens are getting confused with Straight Road being so quiet and think it is safe to wander further from home.

Photo left: Jim perfecting his chicken-shooing technique


Lockdown life for the Lodges

Will Lodge’s account of family life now:

“Coronavirus has taken over my life, as I guess it has for everyone. It is all I do at work, it’s changed my social life, and even the way we shop (supermarkets are a surreal experience now aren’t they!).

“In my previous job I was a homeworker, writing newspaper copy from a desk in our front room and only venturing to the office once or twice a week – a journey I often managed to wangle out of. My current role, working in communications for a local council (not Colchester before you send me your woes), is also flexible so home working is not an issue in terms of getting the job done.

“That said, a kitchen chair and makeshift desk with minimal leg room are taking their toll, and I do miss the office camaraderie of the tea round.

“With half a view out of our front window from my makeshift office it has been pleasing to see the number of people walking and cycling along our road, which has far fewer cars than usual. Hopefully these people are local residents, and will remember how beautiful our village is after the lockdown.

We are fortunate enough to have a garden to stay in, though a local walk is something I am craving to do. With less traffic the birdsong is even more pronounced than usual, and though our seven-month-old kitten keeps the smaller birds hidden away from view (we’ve had blue, great and long-tailed tits, dunnocks, robins, the odd sparrow, and a goldfinch) it’s been lovely to see our resident buzzards soaring higher and higher as the air warms up; and also gracing us with some low fly-bys. A pheasant sometimes pops by to visit too.

“The garden has also kept us busy, and we have taken the opportunity to hire a skip and have a long overdue clear out of our shed and garden.

“Our four children, aged 5-16, have been very good, making use of the garden and not complaining about being stuck home; I think we would all appreciate a run around the park though.

“Home schooling has been an interesting experience. Their schools have set some work, and my incredible wife has drawn up a timetable and other activities to keep a semblance of routine. With such different ages and abilities though it has been tricky to keep everyone engaged in their own work, keeping the others busy while supporting with some one-to-one.

“Working in schools, my wife has been able to do some tasks at home, and is also making trips out to do welfare checks on vulnerable children.

“Socialising has changed, but for my group of regular pub buddies (we tend to meet frequently when rugby is on, less so in between tournaments, and the paused Six Nations is a time when we would see each other more) we did hold a virtual pub hangout on Zoom, each having a beer to mark one of our number’s birthday. It was a nice experience to change the scene somewhat.

“Both my wife and I are Scout leaders, over in Great Horkesley, and it has been odd having Thursday nights to ourselves. There are some brilliant lockdown activities to do with children of all ages from the Scout Association as part of their Great Indoors kit, check it out online.

“Our children have decorated posters in our window, to celebrate people unable to work from home and keeping our country running; please remember all of them, not just the NHS staff and carers, but the bin crews, posties, and the back office staff also keeping them on the road.

“Ultimately we are surviving the lockdown; maybe even thriving. And whatever hardships we think we’re going through, we are safe, have our health, and so far the same applies to everyone we know. That is the most important thing, and the point we mustn’t forget; Stay Home, Save Lives, and look out for the more vulnerable in our community.”

Digital help at home

There will be no digital help at the Hub for the time being, but fear not! You can still go online and get help and support. I hope you are well.

Colchester Borough Council is still offering digital support via a remote service. See the Council’s webpage (https://www.colchester.gov.uk/digitalaccesssupport/) or, for further information, contact:

Get updates on Coronavirus from the government and take part in the latest symptom survey

You can get the latest information from GOV.UK straight to your mailbox. Sign up here:

The Government is asking you to share your coronavirus symptoms to help others. This will help the NHS to co-ordinate its response. https://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker

Coronavirus – a book for children

One thing’s for sure – Coronavirus is here to stay and we all need to understand how to deal with it. But how do you explain what this virus is to small children and how they can play their part in helping to stop the spread? This pdf download can help to give young minds an insight into how they can be responsible for keeping it under control.

Download the pdf here

As anticipated, we are now seeing a high demand for assistance with food and household essentials from elderly and vulnerable Boxted residents. We are now giving out care packages to our elderly, fragile and isolated members of the Boxted community.

We would like to support also any NHS workers in Boxted who are in dire need of help. The vast majority of people that we are assisting right now are well-known to us, and are those most in need

Therefore we would like to ask you if you might, from time to time, be able to donate ANY food, fresh or non-perishable, loo roll, household products or ladies’ sanitary wear/Tena products.

Donations may be collected by us from your doorstep, or you can deliver them to the doorstep of the Hub, Tuesday to Friday inclusive, 10 am till 2 pm.

We encourage everyone to join as one community. We have asked the vulnerable and elderly to get in touch with us should they need any help with the following:

  • Food supplies
  • Basic household essentials
  • Pick-up or refill of prescriptions
  • A friendly chat

We also offer a ‘meals on wheels service’ that you can order by telephone and which we can deliver to residents of Boxted.

You can contact us via telephone:
DAYTIME 01206 272129
EVENINGS: 07488 345019


Please note that the service we offer is primarily for those Boxted residents over 70 and those in most urgent need – who are vulnerable in these difficult times.

Church services

Churches can longer be kept open as places for prayer and solace.Therefore all churches will be locked and will remain so until further notice.

Should you require prayer please contact Revd Mandy Elmes via email lwb.wb.gh.parishes@gmail.com.

Sunday services are now on the St Mary’s West Bergholt Website for all to view. This requires no Facebook account and therefore means everyone can access the recorded services. They will be uploaded on Sunday afternoons for as long as services are streamed.


“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Jeremiah 29:11


Grahame Stehle
Colchester Neighbourhood Watch

The 5th Edition of The Little Book of Big Scams id now available to read on the Colchester Neighbourhood watch website: https://colchesternhw.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/04/Little-Book-of-Big-Scams-V5.pdf

There are so many scams going the rounds that this latest edition is essential reading for anyone wanting to know more about how to spot a scam, and to avoid being drawn in by bogus messages, telephone calls, and attempts to access your computer. Released this year, the booklet predates Coronavirus which has presented new opportunities increasing the numbers of scams being reported.

Please share the above link with friends and family or simply direct them to the Scams and Frauds page at – https://colchesternhw.org.uk

Update on recycled rubbish collection

Colchester Borough Council recycling and rubbish collections

The Council has revised its recycle policy during the Coronavirus outbreak. Initially, it stated that there would be no recycled rubbish collections until further notice but, from 13 April 2020, it will collect glass, cans, plastic, paper and card on a four-weekly basis.

Download your recycling calendar https://www.colchester.gov.uk/your-recycling-calendar/#ValidationSummaryEntityFormView to see when we will be collecting recycling in your area.

Garden waste and textiles will remain suspended until further notice.

For additional information on changes to waste and recycling service, please check thededicated corona virus updates, advice and guidance pages https://www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Free compost bins!

A useful resource if you’ve been a bit over-zealous in the garden during lockdown. Call 01206 272275 and leave a message if you are interested.

Planning ahead

Christmas tree needs a loving home. Nurture until mid-December, then enjoy!

If you’re interested, please call 01206 272822.

Useful websites for essentials

During these unprecedented times, you may find it useful to order some essential items online. Please be aware that these sites are currently experiencing high levels of usage, so you may find it difficult to access the supplies they offer.

Milk and More


Colchester Dairy


Who Gives a Crap Toilet Rolls



A Facebook group, “Colchester Borough Emergency Coordinations Group“, has been set up consisting of people offering help and support during this difficult period.

Useful links:

Boxted Village Hall
Boxted Village Website
Boxted Primary School
Boxted British Legion

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