30th May 2020

Village News and Events

in Boxted and Langham

Welcome to this week’s newsletter. As lockdown measures start to ease, the Boxted Hub and Langham Community Shop are getting back to business. Find out what they’re offering below.

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

Stay safe everyone.

Lockdown update

Where there’s a Will there’s a way!

Will Lodge gives an update of life in lockdown for him and his family:

When I last wrote a piece for the newsletter everything seemed so new, so surreal – now I sometimes struggle to remember what life was like pre-Covid.

My work continues to be dominated by the pandemic. After a brief period of stability things are getting busy again as we negotiate through the first steps of easing lockdown; possibly a harder feat than entering it.

My wife has been furloughed, which given she works in education is not surprising, but allows her to not worry about what emails may come in while also doing homeschooling.

The kids are still coping well, and in no rush to go back to school. Although two of ours are in year groups set to go back, we have decided to keep them home. It is a tough decision for all parents out there, and we recognise for many going back is the right decision. We are fortunate not to need school as childcare, and hopefully by keeping ours home it will make social distancing easier for those who do go back.

As lockdown has gone on we’ve continued to use our garden lots (we’ve ordered a compost bin!) and also taken some walks around the back lanes of the village, exploring new places.

My desk has moved directly in front of the window now, allowing some bird watching while on conference calls – the mute button helps in masking my excitement when seeing a Jay, and even a nightingale!

Social life has become even busier than pre-lockdown, with regular family quizzes, catch ups with relatives, and virtual bar hang-outs. Scouting has also returned, so Thursdays see my wife running Beavers and myself supporting Scouts over Zoom – the Beavers are probably better at video call etiquette!

With the restrictions easing for now we have noticed more traffic on our road. But for us lockdown continues – and we’re still enjoying it.

The Hub is now open for take away meals for ALL BOXTED RESIDENTS, Tuesday to Friday lunchtimes only at present, with a view to doing an evening takeaway one night a week in the next few weeks.

Meals must be pre-ordered 24 hours beforehand, and are strictly collection only.

All current social distancing regulations will be strictly adhered to. The menu is fixed, and not an unlimited supply, so pre-booking is essential. Today was “Lasagne” day, and it smelled lovely!

Contact us via telephone: DAYTIME 01206 272129 or EVENINGS: 07488 345019 or via our Facebook page. Please note that the service we offer is primarily for those Boxted residents over 70 and those in most urgent need.

Plea from a tree

Would any Boxted residents like to volunteer with help in weeding and watering the trees and shrubs on the Boxted playing fields and recreation ground? Sadly, many of our newly planted trees have already died of drought, and those that are surviving are in desperate need of a bit of weeding and TLC. Some very wonderful householders in Songers Cottages have already been going great guns with watering cans, helping to save our trees, and our wholehearted thanks go out to them!

Robert Graves of Rivers Hall has very kindly lent several 20 litre barrels which can be filled with water and taken round the playing fields.and Arabella Brentnall is currently using her Landrover to transport the barrels to water the worst affected trees.

The plan is to all muck in on Tuesday, 2nd June 10 till 12 am, social distancing very much required and everything to be done within the current Covid-19 guidelines.

Please could all willing participants get in touch so they can be briefed beforehand. Some tools can be provided, and full instructions given on the day, but everyone must bring their own gloves, and facemasks if desired.

Please contact Arabella Brentnall by email arabellabrentnall@icloud.com or by phone on 01206272013 if you would like to come and help. DO NOT JUST TURN UP ON THE DAY – PLEASE GET IN TOUCH FIRST!

Essex County Council Libraries News

If you, or someone you know is living with sight loss, the library service can help you to enjoy reading and to find reliable information. Libraries help people with visual impairments by providing books in a range of formats that people may find more accessible. We’re celebrating this during June as part of the Hi Vis fortnight.

If you find it difficult to access ordinary printed books, here are some ways libraries and other organisations can help

  • The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have a useful guide about using e-books on their website.
  • When you borrow an e-book using the BorrowBox app you can change the text size and background colour to improve readability.
  • If e-books aren’t for you, try listening to an e-audio book on your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can find these on BorrowBox too, and now also on the RBdigital app where you’ll find some top titles with no need to reserve or wait.
  • The PressReader app, which offers a wide range of newspapers and magazines, has an option to read the articles aloud to you
  • RNIB’s free talking book service also gives access to over 25,000 books for adults and children with a visual impairment

There’s more information on the Different ways of reading page of our website. So don’t miss out on libraries if you’re visually impaired – get connected and discover reading in a different way!

How are you coping with lockdown?

Our colleagues in Essex’s Public Health Team are helping with some research about people’s experiences of the lockdown. They are promoting a survey that academics at The University of Bath, in partnership with The Training Effect have developed to help them understand the impact lockdown has had on adults and children aged over eight.

If you can spare around 20 minutes, they would love you to take part in the survey.

The researchers are gathering information about the experience of lockdown. They will test whether there are particular groups of people that are coping better or worse with the current restrictions. The analysed results will be useful to Essex County Council and partners for planning services in the future.

The adult completing the survey needs to give consent for children to take part. The survey closes on 30 June.

Don’t forget, if you are dealing with negative thoughts or feelings during the lockdown, the library service can help you:

Bonfires – a reminder

Please remember that the lighting of bonfires is restricted There are guidelines on the Council’s website but several times over the last week; bonfires having been burning through the night in the Boxted Cross area. The Council’s guide is listed below:

  1. Keep the number of bonfires to an absolute minimum and only burn dry garden refuse.  Never burn household rubbish or other materials.
  2. If you are a trade or business you should not have a bonfire to dispose of your waste. Trade waste should be removed by a licensed carrier (unless it is green waste) and disposed of at a licensed site. For more information contact the Environment Agency.
  3. Be prepared to consult your neighbours before lighting a bonfire to seek their agreement and ensure that no inconvenience will be caused.
  4. Do not light a bonfire when weather conditions will cause problems. Smoke hangs in the air on damp, windless days and in the evenings and at sunset.
  5. Site the bonfire in a safe place and as far away as possible from your neighbours’ property. Do not site near to buildings, fences, hedges, trees etc.
  6. Do not light a fire when smoke will be blown over neighbours’ property or over roads.
  7. Do not use flammable liquids such as petrol, paraffin or methylated spirits to light a bonfire or keep it burning.
  8. Keep the bonfire under supervision at all times and ensure that is extinguished completely, by dousing with soil or water, before you leave it.
  9. Keep a hose pipe or buckets of water close to hand and be ready to extinguish the fire if problems arise e.g. a sudden change of wind direction.
  10. There are no times when bonfires are permitted or forbidden. However, it is more important to take into account your neighbours’ activities e.g. washing on the line, open windows, sitting in the garden, decorating etc.

Colchester Borough Council is calling on residents to consider their own health and that of their neighbours by not having bonfires where possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

People are asked to avoid lighting fires in case others living near them have had their breathing affected due to the virus or have other respiratory problems, such as asthma or COPD, that could be worsened by smoke.

Councils can take enforcement action if smoke becomes a statutory nuisance, which can result in a fine up to a maximum of £5,000.

Information about how to prevent a smoke nuisance and how to report issues to the council’s environmental protection team can be found here.

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 Langham and Boxted Church Website for all to view under Streamed Services. https://lb-churches.co.uk/streamed-services/ They will be uploaded on Sunday afternoons for as long as services are streamed.

Download the services booklet here

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3

In brief …

Your quick reference guide to newsletter regulars.

Covid-19 symptom checker app

Download the app for iPhone here
Download the app for Android here

Coronavirus updates

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

Digital help at home

Remember that this service is still available online. Michael Smith at Colchester Borough Council is still offering digital support via a remote service. See the Council’s webpage or, for further information.

Useful links:

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

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Newsletter editor: Angela McLauchlan   :   Design and layout: Shirley Szymanek