17th January 2021

Village News and Events

in Boxted and Langham

Welcome to this week’s newsletter.

If you wish to have an item included in this newsletter, please email us at  newsandevents@boxted.org.uk  by Thursday 5pm at the latest. Thank you.

Stay safe and healthy..

Faces of the Village

Karen Thompson,
Clerk to Boxted Parish Council

Karen was appointed clerk to Boxted Parish Council in April 2018 and works hard for the village helping all parish councillors in their roles both ensuring that parish council business is conducted in the correct manner and supporting both parish councillors and residents in any matters that the parish council are involved with.

Below is a summary of items that Karen reported back from a recent clerks forum (by Zoom of course!) for Colchester Parish Clerks and the Borough Council.

Karen writes:

“I attend (via zoom) the clerks forum for Colchester Parish Clerks and the Borough Council. I have recently learnt the following:

  • Police do random speed checks in Boxted
  • 112 fixed penalties or enforcement action in Colchester for COVID breaches
  • 31 cycle thefts (in Borough) but one person apprehended and that number has dropped to one or two
  • There might be contributory funding for CCTV (if quick) via Rural Crime scheme by CBC
  • Increase in domestic fires during lockdowns
  • COVID positive rates at beginning of Oct was less than 100 per 100,000 NOW they are nearly 1000!
  • Colchester to begin (next day or two) a mass testing facility for asymptomatic testing at Colchester Leisure World – process book a slot, attend and get a lateral flow test (results quite quick via email/text), any positive result you will then be sent a PCR test at home which is more accurate
  • Colchester Borough Council website is ongoing significant transformation – should see big improvements to planning site in 2021. Other changes already live are:
    • Online booking for a pest control slot
    • Fishing permits
    • Allotments (visit and book an allotment)

Also planned for next year – Beach huts transfers, trade waste duty of care, Licensing services, environmental protection complaint reporting and building control – planning system.

The phone system will still be available for non digital users

  • Test and Trace support payments are available for people being required to self isolate – available for people on low income facing increased bills and having to self isolate ( colchester.gov.uk/support-payment-apply or 01206 282600) 3 schemes – those in receipt of some benefits; discretionary (people not receiving benefits), also Colchester Hardship which is a case by case decision and open to the unemployed
  • As part of business regeneration planning there will be many more street licenses available for pop-up trading.
  • Community360 is looking for huge numbers of volunteers to help with vaccination centres – need 28 volunteers a day. Phone Community360 if you can give some time to this 01206 502250
  • There are a number of Community Cold Weather Packs available they include useful information and clothing, basic refreshments and practical items like a torch and a blanket. If you know of anyone that may be struggling to heat their home then lets get a pack to them.”

The parish council can be contacted at boxtedparishcouncil@gmail.com . All parish council business can be found at https://boxtedparishcouncil.org.uk .

Walking in Essex

Are you fed-up with doing the same old walks? In these peculiar times when people are walking more than usual many are interested in finding new local walks.

Walking in Essex www.walkinginengland.co.uk/essex is the website for you!

With hundreds of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, contact details for all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group (post lockdown) all the information is there in one place.

John Harris has constructed this website to help you find new walks. He says ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Essex (part of the Walking in England suite of websites – one for each county in England) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.

With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.

So home or away, check out the websites and get walking!

For further information, contact John Harris at: john@walkinginengland.co.uk

Chapel Road, Boxted

Suspect unknown has spray painted a mirror on victim’s driveway.

Summary – Colchester Borough Council Members’ Report

Our ward councillor has summarised the report:

  • Part 1 of the Local Plan will go to full Council on 1st February the agenda and full details for that will be published on 22nd January
  • The Council’s budget meeting is on 24th February, the details having been agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 27th January, with details available on 18th January.
  • Natural England is undertaking a Countryside Code refresh and would like views on what the new version should include. This may be of interest to landowners with public rights of way crossing their land. If anyone would like to contribute please fill in and/or share this online survey https://defragroup.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9sosQ0YlnPyfv3T
  • There is also a survey available from’ Transport East’, which is the sub national body looking at a 30 year vision for transport in Norfolk, Suffolk and all of Essex. I believe it has been sent to parish councils but if not let me know and I’ll send the details. I think it is important that the view of our part of Colchester is included as I suspect it won’t be the same one as points south! Take part in the survery here:  https://www.transporteast.org.uk/have-your-say-on-the-future-of-travel/

Church services

Update on current situation regarding St Mary’s and St Peter’s:

  • St Mary’s Langham: The precautions now recommended for Covid 19 security are not at present practicable in St Mary’s Church and therefore, taking Episcopal advice, this church is closed for the time-being. Therefore St Mary’s is closed for private prayer for the time being as well as well as for gathered services.
  • St Peter’s Boxted: Dominic has advised that he has been able to complete the necessary risk assessment for St Peter’s and therefore Boxted will remain open each day for private prayer (this may change if the restrictions change but for the time being it can remain open)

A weekly service is streamed via Zoom.

Please email lwb.wb.gh.parishes@gmail.com to request details of the zoom link; a recording of the service is available from Sunday afternoon at the following link:


Download the services booklet here

Zoom Services

  • January 17, 2021 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • January 24, 2021 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • anuary 31, 2021 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am

For prayer requests, please contact the Three Parishes Administrator, Mrs Jo Rassell on:

Email:  lwb.wb.gh.parishes@gmail.com
Tel: 01206 243683

Jo works 9-12 on Mondays and 9-1 on Tuesday-Friday. If she’s not in the office, please leave a message on the answer machine.

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.

Hammersmith Suspension Bridge and George Double

More history on the builder of Boxted Bridge.

We were delighted to find this reference to George Double, builder of Boxted bridge, whilst working as manager for Messrs Dixon and Thorne during the building of Hammersmith Suspension bridge in the West London Observer, Saturday 23rd April 1887:

….’The old piers of the chain towers still remaining, the central span is the same as in the old bridge, viz, 400 feet2 1/4 inches; the span from the Surrey shore to the south pier is 145 feet 6 inches. The towers are lattice structures of angle iron to support the chain saddles at a height above the roadway of 40 feet, the chains having a curve of 35 feet version. The width of the roadway is 30 feet and there is a footpath, 6 feet wide on each side, protected by an ironwork fencing which seems hardly high enough. A clear headway is given above high water of 15 feet. Vast foundations were laid in deep pits at the north and south ends of the bridge, some ten thousand cube yards of concrete being used, and there is heavy iron anchorage for the purpose of securing the ends of the four chains. The anchorages are at a depth of about 30 feet below the surface at the approaches of the roads. The cost of the new bridge has been about £85,000,  and it has been erected with remarkable expedition under the supervision of Mr. George Double, the energetic manager of Messrs. Dixon and Thorne , the building having taken just two years, reckoning from the date of commencement’.

Essex Highways plan to replace the bridge and build one on a wider footprint capable of HGVs making the turn over the bridge onto Sky Hall Hill. The local community believe that the better option is to have the bridge repaired and preserve its history. Read the full story at:  https://www.change.org/p/essex-county-council-save-our-bridge

To sign the petition to repair Boxted Bridge click here .

Volunteers needed!

Stephen Whybrow is seeking volunteers to help co-ordinate the fund-raising effort for this year. He writes:

“As we are all aware Langham with Boxted Church Finances have been badly hit by the pandemic. Traditional fundraising events will not be practicable for some months, so we will be launching two online fundraising initiatives which can be supported from home. However we will still need a raft of volunteers to participate!”

The two initiatives are

1) eBay Sales of unwanted items

This was run with great success by Patsy Ann Maggs as part of the St Peter’s Tower fundraising so we know it works. Patsy Ann has agreed to mastermind the initiative again and will handle all the eBay offers and the dispatch/collection of the sold items. However success will depend on having a flow of items to sell throughout 2021.in addition to identifying items which you no longer have use for and are prepared to donate we are looking for a group of ten or more volunteers who are prepared to ask their friends, families and neighbours for similar donations. Guidance will be prepared as to the sort of items which will sell and which we are looking for and also those items which will not and which we should avoid.

2) Virtual Plant Sale

Over the years plant sales have been a productive means of raising funds and with the ever growing interest in gardening and the growing cost of plants this is likely to continue. Although much remains to be worked out the essence of the ideas is that volunteers will contribute plants from their gardens and that these will be offered for sale on a website at very attractive prices. I am looking for lots of volunteers to contribute plants in 2021, a couple of volunteers to help with the planning and coordination and someone to set up and manage a website!

“Please please help Patsy Ann and myself succeed with these Covid safe fundraisings.”

You can contact Stephen on 01206 272773 / 07801749575 or email  stephenwhybrow@msn.com

In brief …

Your quick reference guide to newsletter regulars.

Mobile library

Following the latest Government guidelines the mobile library service is suspended until further notice.

To keep up to date with any changes please visit the Mobile Library Service website

Thursday opening times for the Post Office at the Langham Community Shop are 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
Little Owls Pre-School
Langham and Boxted Churches
Boxted Cricket Club
Mobile Library Service
Boxted Runners
Boxted WI on Facebook
Boxted WI on Twitter
Boxted 10K
Boxted Airfield Historical Group
Langham Community Centre
Langham Community Shop
Langham Village Website
Dedham Vale & Stour Valley ANOB
Essex County Council’s PROW Interactive map
Colchester District Neighbourhood Watch

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