5th December 2020

Village News and Events

in Boxted and Langham


Welcome to this week’s newsletter.

We have events again!! Remember to follow the rules for Tier 2 and enjoy being able to go out again.

If you wish to have an item included in this newsletter, please email us at boxtedvillagenews@gmail.com by Thursday 5pm at the latest. Thank you.

Stay safe everyone.


Builder of Boxted Bridge identified!

Boxted Bridge, built by George Double (1840-1916)

Boxted bridge, built in 1897, is a steel girder bridge built over the River Stour in North Essex. From Essex Records Office archives we know that it replaced an earlier wooden bridge, built after 1835, which had fallen into disrepair. On 14 November 1896 The Bury Free Press announced that ‘the tender of Mr George Double of Ipswich was accepted for the sum of £927 to build Boxted bridge by Essex and West Suffolk County Councils’ and on the 28 April 1897 The Evening Star reported that ‘The Boxted Bridge, which has been built by Mr George Double of Ipswich is now completed and opened for traffic, so that the road to Nayland is once more available.’ Interestingly the bridge at Wormingford was also built by the same contractor.

George Double (1840-1916) was a local lad, born in Hadleigh where his family lived in Benton Street. From the 1891 Census we know that was living in London that year. An article in the Bury and Norwich Post of 10 February 1891 describes Mr Double, whose contract had been accepted for rebuilding Wormingford bridge, as “ a very experienced man, having built Westminster Bridge, and was also active in the erection of Cleopatra’s Needle”. In 1893 George Double was the contractor for the new pier head and landing stage on Clevedon Pier, Somerset, now a grade 1 listed building. In the 1911 Census he was living at Kirby Lodge, Kirby Street, St John’s, Ipswich where he describes himself as “retired contractor (bridges) (pier bridges).

A steel girder on one of the exterior side plates on the north side of the bridge has revealed the name ‘Glengarnock Steel’. Glengarnock Ironworks in North Ayrshire, founded in 1843, pioneered the rolling of steel joists, which acquired a high reputation among structural engineers. One of the directors of the company was E Windsor Richards, one of the leading iron and steel masters of the day. Glengarnock Iron and Steel co was one of the first in Scotland to move into making H-beams for structures and bridges.

A member of the South Yorkshire Industrial History Society has identified a second steel foundry mark on the bridge, that of Consett Iron Works in County Durham. “ Consett was one of the largest ironworks in the world in the late 19 th century and production included brackets and sections which would have been used on your bridge.

The implication of at least 2 different manufacturers products being involved is that the builder was using off the peg components to achieve the design specification. I doubt there would have been direct contact with Consett; more likely a local iron/steel stockholder.” (Anthony Ball, President, SYIHS)

Steel marks on the bridge:

Below: Steel mark of Consett Iron Works, County Durham

Below: Steel mark of Glengarnock Ironworks, north Ayshire

… and part 2 of the ‘Save our bridge’ video is now available on YouTube. Click on the image below to watch:

Finally, if retention of the existing bridge is important to you, remember to support the campaign and sign the petition at: Change.org



Meet and Greet Events hosted by Colchester Police

Wednesday 9 December, 10am – 11am
Highwoods Tesco Car Park

Your opportunity to speak to officers and exchange information,





Colchester future transport strategy

Your views are important in helping to refine the strategy. Once agreed it will help to identify potential schemes to take forward.

You have until Friday 18 December to take the survey and give your views. Take the survey online at: https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/essex-highways/colchester-future-transport-strategy/consultation/

For further information contact Colchesterfuturetransport@essexhighways.org


  1. Close and lock all windows and doors every time you leave the house or go to bed. Make sure that the door is locked properly i.e. lift the handle, turn the key and then remove the key ensuring that it is available for you to exit in case of emergency but out of sight from prying eyes.
  2. If you have a burglar alarm use it at all times, even if just popping out for a moment, or zone off areas before going to bed.
  3. Leave lights on timers or radios on in the rooms you use the most, invest in a TV simulator such as ‘Fake TV’ to make it look like you are in. Fit external lighting using energy saving bulbs or LEDs which are activated by a dawn to dusk sensor. If burglars see your house has security lighting they are less likely to approach for fear of being seen.
  4. Secure your boundaries and ensure access to your back garden is not easily obtained, lock gates and consider some spiky plants. Look out for climbing aids such as wheelie bins that may make it easier for the burglar to get in. Keep sheds, garage and other outbuildings locked securely, as they may contain valuable items or tools that may be used to break into your house.
  5. Use forensic marking or other property marking methods to identify your property and display any product signage/labels. Keep an inventory of your property including serial numbers and photographs. This can be done in a paper version or on an online asset recording product. Make sure you include details such as identifying marks, value, and purchase date.

Information on security products including property marking products and, asset recording products can be found at: www.securedbydesign.com

For further crime prevention information visit: https://www.essex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/


Revd Mandy Elmes resigns

She writes:

“In sadness, I am writing to you to share my news. I didn’t expect, or anticipate, to offer my resignation to Bishop Roger at this time, but because of my husband Paul’s accident and current situation, I have done so. He has very graciously accepted it.

“This means that my last service will be on 27 December. Following this I will be taking compassionate leave until 28 February so that I can journey with, and care for, Paul. I’m not sure how these two months will pan out at the moment, but I won’t routinely be taking services, PCC Meetings etc. That said, I hope that there will be opportunities for us to meet and say ‘farewell’ face-to-face.

“Thank-you for journeying with me over the past six and a half years, it has been a pleasure and a privilege travelling with you.”

We wish Mandy and Paul all the very best.


Church services

Sunday 6 December

Following the change in restrictions, we are now able to meet again for services and therefore the 10am Service at St Mary’s West Bergholt on Sunday 6 December will be a gathered and Zoom service.

Zoom services:

  • December 6, 2020 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am
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Should you wish to have the details of the services emailed to you beforehand please email the Church administrator on lwb.wb.gh.parishes@gmail.com .

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

Sunday services are on theLangham 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.

Daily Hope – a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers. Available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 has been set up for those unable to join in online church services during the period of restrictions.

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This initiative is organised by Colchester Borough Council (with your help!), spreading a little joy to care home residents this Christmas. For further information or for the name list, please contact communities@colchester.gov.uk or tony@fansnetwork.org


In brief …

Your quick reference guide to newsletter regulars.


Operation Christmas Child

Boxes to be donated between Saturday 5th and Sunday 13th December, these can then be sent out to children across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa.

Boxes can be dropped off at our stall at both the Langham and Boxted local markets, (Langham Sunday 6th 10 to 3, Boxted Sunday 13th December 2 to 5), or Wednesday 9th 1.15 to 2.15 at Langham Community Centre, 2.45 to 3.45 at Boxted Village Hall, Monday 14th December 10 to 12 at Langham Community Centre. Alternatively they can be left at 1 Pegasus Way on St Johns Estate Colchester CO4 0QG each day between 10 and 4.

At both fairs there will be an opportunity to support by helping to pack community boxes, sections for each box can be purchased for £1 and then be made into full boxes, alternatively a complete box can be sent on your behalf for £10.

Thank you again for the support shown to this year’s appeal. You truly are helping to spread great joy in a year when it’s needed more than ever.


Mobile library

The following dates have been advertised on the Essex Libraries website for the mobile library:

  • 24 December 2020
  • 14 January 2021
  • 04 February 2021
  • 25 February 2021

Van will be at Boxted Village Hall car park between 10.10am and10.40am. To keep up to date with any changes please visit the Mobile Library Service website


Councillor wanted


Are you interested in getting involved in grass roots decisions and making a real difference to your community? If so, and you meet the eligibility criteria1, why not consider standing for co-option onto Boxted Parish Council? We currently have a vacancy and are looking a Councillor that will work to improve the Parish.

If you are interested please write (no more than 250 words) explaining who you are, why you would like to join the council, aspects of the community that are of particular interest and what qualities, skills and expertise would you bring.

Applications should be emailed to boxtedparishcouncil@gmail.com

The position is not paid but full training is provided.

It will take a few hours of your time each month and you need to commit to being available for Parish Council meeting which take place on the second Wednesday evening of each month.

Closing Date for applications is Wednesday 6th January 2021.


Call for Sites for Local Needs Homes

In December 2019, Boxted Parish Council supported a parish wide housing needs survey (posted to every household) by an independent Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) from the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE). This survey identified that there is a need for a small number of homes for local people in Boxted and the Parish Council and RCCE are exploring how a small scheme of around seven affordable homes for local people could be brought forward. This may include a range and combination of one-bedroom flats to 3-bedroom homes, depending on the needs of local people.

‘Local’ generally means a person who is;

• Currently resident in the parish
• Was previously resident in the parish
• Is permanently employed in the parish
• Is connected by close family still living in the parish

As a result of the evidence gathered, the Parish Council are keen to pursue a ‘Rural Exception Site’. These schemes are built on land which would not usually be allocated by the planning authority for housing but can be considered for affordable housing to meet a proven local need. These must be sites that are contiguous with or adjacent to existing village settlement boundaries.

The aim of affordable housing is to provide homes for people who cannot afford to buy or rent a home on the open market. The term includes rented and affordable home ownership. New affordable homes help sustain communities by offering local families, couples and single people the chance to stay living in the place where they have strong connections. This can be those who aspire to their first / independent home or those who wish to downsize.

The proposed homes will be for rent and shared ownership sale and can never be sold on the open market, remaining as homes only for locals forever. The Parish Council is currently looking at possible suitable sites in the Parish and there will be full Consultation on any proposals.

We would also like to hear from Landowners who might have a suitable site for an affordable housing proposal. Ideally, it would be a site of around one acre in size. As this is an exception site for local people, the land does not hold the same value as ‘normal’ or open market development. It is often put forward to support local needs would be at an exception site rate or in some cases, land is gifted as a legacy to the Community by landowners who wish to support such projects.

Please submit details of your site to the Parish Council Clerk ( boxtedparishcouncil@gmail.com ) – Deadline Wednesday 6th January 2021.


From 4 November, Thursday opening times for the Post Office at the Langham Community Shop will change to the afternoon, from 12.30 to 4.00 pm.

Monday opening times remain the same at 9.00 am to 12.30 pm.


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.


Covid symptom app

Please continue to use the app, log in as often as possible to let us know if you feel well or not, and encourage others to do the same.


Langham Community Shop
Calendar photo competition


All ages, all abilities. Monthly competition to find pictures through the months and seasons of Langham for our 2022 calendar. Call in the shop or email for full details and requirements.

communityshoplangham@gmail.com .

Include ‘Langham Calendar Competition’ in the subject line along with the following information “The photo (as an attachment – jpg or png) title, date photo was taken, your name, contact number and permissions (this will b e required if faces are included in the image). Deadline for entries is 12noon on the 15th (e.g. if you enter November photo, send in by 15th December).

Winners will be announced at the end of each month and the 12 images that make it into the calendar will receive a published copy and prize when each win is announced. There will be four photos shortlisted and put up for you to vote on each month. Make sure you vote when you pop in for your shopping!


Useful links:

Boxted Parish Council
Boxted Village Hall
Boxted Village Website
Boxted Neighbourhood Plan
Boxted Primary School
Boxted British Legion


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