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Event Reports 2 (9/12/06-22/9/07)

Event Reports 3 (13/10/07-27/12/07)

Event Reports 4 (26/1/08 - 29/5/08)

Event Reports 5 (31/5/0  14/03/09)

Event Reports 6 (24/5/09-2 /7/10)



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Dan Poulter MP



Felixstowe Port

Open Garden

Tug of War - 18 /6/11

Brandeston Fete - 18/6/11


Brandeston Fete - 18 June 2011

What will the weather be like? Will people turn up? Have we got enough stuff? Will the tents blow down? Will the recession hit us? Will we make a lot of money? The list of worries as the opening of the fete approaches is endless. Now that it’s all over we’re left with just one question  – why were we so worried?

In spite of the circumstances surrounding this year’s fete, we managed to make £4740 which is only 4.5% less than last year. The church and the village hall are delighted with the result and are extremely grateful to all our supporters.

The fete was opened this year by Andrew Randall, above, who only a week earlier had made a money raising parachute jump. He was now doing something even scarier according to him – making his first ever public speech. He needn’t have been worried as his sincere and emotional words were really well received and he was congratulated by familiar stallholders and strangers alike as he walked around.

The fete itself was the same mix as usual with one or two new ideas (the Human Fruit Machine, right, was really funny) and the return of some old favourites. The Tug of War was good fun once again this year with Brandeston beating the Rest of the World yet again (see the separate report below).

Planning for the fete normally starts in earnest in April although some work is already under way for next year’s. Lots of thanks go to all those involved in every aspect of the event ranging from those who help to organise it, the stallholders who collect for their stalls, those who build the tents and prepare the field and those who tidy everything up on the Monday after the fete. Thanks also to those who attend and spend their money on our behalf. Special thanks go to Alan at the Queen’s Head who allows us to use his garden and does so much for the fete and the village as a whole.

It’s interesting and humbling to note that in the four weeks since 29 May, the two small, neighbouring communities of Brandeston and Kettleburgh comprising fewer than 500 people in total have raised £10,000 from their fetes and the Open Garden for their churches and village halls. Few communities large or small could claim that.

Photos from the fete.

The Tug of War at Brandeston Fete - 18 June 2011

Ignominy! That’s all that can be said about Brandeston’s first pull against the Rest of the World in the Tug of War at the fete. After a token resistance, Brandeston was literally all over the place – arms and legs in the air,  team members in the shrubbery and big cheering from the Rest of the World.

There were words! Alan Randall gave the team a good talking to - they were still on the ground at this point so very little of it was heard - and then Andrew Randall gave them some sound advice. (Andrew and his brothers were county-level tug of war players in their day so anything said was from experts.)

Once the Brandeston team was back on their feet, albeit with sheepish grins on their faces, they walked to the other end (with some trepidation, I suspect, as they were after all defending last year’s victory) braced. Their reputation in the village depended on this pull and with Will Elson as captain and Tim Owens at anchor co-ordinating the heaves, they made mincemeat of the opposition.

Mind you, they were pulling a lightweight team downhill at this point.

All now depended on the final push and by this time Brandeston was hyped up by the cheering and exhortations of onlookers, all proffering advice and in their excitement moving dangerously close to their team. It was pandemonium and mayhem but a deafening cheer confirmed the wonderful news – Brandeston were once again the champions ....... the Rest of the World stayed on their feet though!

More Tug of War Photos

Open Garden at The Broadhurst - 29 May 2011

Mary Baker

The open garden at the Broadhurst gave everyone an opportunity to relax amid the beautiful surroundings of the Cunliffes’ garden. We couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon. The sun shone and visitors from near and far came to enjoy the peace of the garden.

There was much more than just the garden to see, as people who expected to spend a quiet half hour in the garden found themselves poring over the wonderful array of plants, discussing with partners whether there was room for an obelisk in their garden, eating delicious cake and discovering the vast array of artistic talent that lies within the village and its surroundings before going home, laden with purchases, a couple of hours later.

The afternoon was planned to raise funds for the important restoration work that is planned for All Saints’ Church. The Cunliffes and their extended family led a large team of villagers in the planning of the event with an extensive programme of potting and labelling of thousands of plants, advertising, gathering the artists with their work and baking all the cakes.

The garden was looking at its most magnificent, with visitors taking time to stand and admire the view across the pond from the terrace towards the River Deben, to explore hidden shady corners, to wonder at the impressive range of mature trees and to sit under the white wisteria for a quiet cup of tea. For those who prefer their vegetables, there was a vegetable patch to admire with a promising display of tasty looking fruit and veg.

For art lovers the craft tent provided another visual feast with paintings, beads, preserves, wood carving and, a real treat for local residents, a selection of paintings by the late Dr Anthony Fletcher which were kindly exhibited by his family.

All Saints’ PCC would like to thank everyone who contributed to the afternoon. There were so many people involved in the preparation and the smooth running of the day and their help is really appreciated. Especially we must thank Clemency and Roger who have worked so hard for such a long time in the planning and organisation of the day. The afternoon was a great success. Financially, the £2,400 raised will be an important contribution to the work at the church but it was much more than that; it was a wonderful opportunity for people to chat, to unwind and to appreciate the natural splendour around them. If only it was as easy as it looks!

See more photos here.

The Port of Felixstowe Trip - 24 May 2011

Rosie and TJ’s Hosted Visit to the Port

A question on economics to start: what’s the Port of Felixstowe’s biggest export?

The port handles the equivalent of over three million twenty feet long containers every year and this number is growing again after a slight dip during the recent recession. Over 53% of them come from the Far East to unload at one of the world’s largest ports. Twenty seven massive cranes – they look huge from a distance but when you are alongside them they really are immense – unload and load the large container ships quickly and efficiently.

A coach load of Brandeston people visited the port and the customs house to see how they operated. Rosie and TJ hosted the trip as part of their farewell to the village.

The old port where ships unloaded is now filled in and incorporated into the almost 1.5 miles of unloading quay that forms Trinity terminal. The port owners have marked this area with pink blocks which now seems tiny by comparison with the port.

After driving around the old Landguard terminal and the new Trinity terminal we visited the Customs House for a light lunch, courtesy of Rosie and TJ and then had a lesson on smuggling and contraband. Very few days go by without the customs officers discovering something illegal. Those who smoke will remember the fear they experienced when trying to smuggle an extra 200 cigarettes into the country after a foreign holiday. The customs officers at Felixstowe often discover containers with ten million cigarettes of dubious quality. Drugs, firearms, fake goods, counterfeit wine, bush meat – complete with maggots – live animals, dead animals, cash leaving the country, cash coming into the country, certain timbers all searched for and often found.

Now, back to the question – what’s the biggest export from the port? Fresh air. The majority of containers leaving the port are empty and the air going back to the far east is given free of charge!

Photos from the trip.

Christmas Fair at the Coffee Morning and Village Christmas Lunch

14 and 16 December 2010
Report and photos from the Christmas Lunch on 14 December 2010 ...

... and the Coffee Morning and Christmas Fair on 16 December 2010

Harvest Horkey - 9 October 2010

The 32nd Harvest Horkey at the village hall on 9 October was a sell-out, if that’s the right word for a free dinner, and has guaranteed its future for a while.

Traditionally here in Brandeston, the Horkey was a celebration of the agricultural nature of the village and the local farmers used to provide the meat for the harvest dinner. There was still a lot to do, of course, by the organisers but the event was invariably sold out in the early eighties when over a hundred people squeezed into the village hut.

Over the years, however, with the emphasis in the village drifting away from farming, fewer people have wanted to attend. Last year, for example, with a week to go, we had sold 26 tickets. So this year, the village hall committee, having had a successful year with fund-raising events and a record breaking fete, decided to make the evening free.

We had a limit of 64 people because of the cooking arrangements and all seats were sold. Maybe, with the nature of the village having changed, we need to rename the event so that the tradition is maintained but the relevance of a close community, such as we have, is given more emphasis.

A delicious soup, a gorgeous slow-roasted belly of pork (left) followed by a selection of puddings, coffee and a slide show defined the evening. The villagers attending were a good mix of new and old plus some long-standing supporters. Just about everyone expressed surprise at seemingly being paid to attend the event when £5 notes were handed back at the door. Nevertheless, the idea of paying and then having the money returned made sure that no food was wasted.

With the Brandeston Awards cancelled at the last minute, we had an impromptu slide show of photos taken from the air over the village allowing people to see Brandeston from a different perspective and seeing how attractive it is.

More photos from the Horkey.

Dr Daniel Poulter MP - 20 September 2010

Our new MP, Dr Dan Poulter, made an unexpected visit to our fete last June and we took that opportunity to ask him if he would come to the village hall to give us a talk on his first days in Parliament. Well, maybe it was because he was the new boy or maybe he wanted to meet as many of his constituents as he could but he agreed. We set up a date immediately and on Monday, 20 September, he came to our hall.

Over fifty people came to listen to him -  a good turnout for a political event - mainly from the village but also from several miles around.

Following a brief talk about his first days and some of the famous MPs he had met, including Ken Clarke who sat next to him at the barbers, Dr Poulter took questions from his audience for over an hour. Strangely, there were few if any questions on the coalition, the cuts and UK politics (there was one on the arms trade); the majority were about county issues – the NHS and our hospitals, transport, education and our schools, the town and country aspect of his constituency, and how he would deal with the challenge of his county view and the party line.

At all times he appeared to have a common sense approach and a desire to put the needs of the county first and it was obvious that the audience warmed to him irrespective of their political allegiance.

The final jocular question just about summed up the evening: “You seem to be a very nice man – will it last?”

David Risk, who chaired the evening on behalf of the village hall, eventually drew the session to a close in order for the audience to talk informally to their MP over a glass of wine and nibbles. This again went on for over an hour resulting in Dr Poulter being one of the last to leave when the evening came to its natural end.

More photos from the evening.

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