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Nick Hayward’s Paintings

Paul Coppen

Newsletter of the Year


James Moorman and Jo Newell Marry

Graham Vellacott’s Retirement

Anna Carr’s New Shop

Dempseys’ Visit

New People

Peter Arbon’s 80th

Bill and Kathy Dempsey Visiting

Kariandusi Cycle Challenge

Nick Hayward’s Paintings - November 2007

The pictures shown (click here) are principally watercolours and begin in 1993, when I first took an interest in the subject, through to the present day.  They are all based on my own photographs/composition other than Fig 4, based on the East Coast Sail Trust Brochure, and Fig 12 which was copied from another artist to try to learn and emulate his technique. A few pencil sketches are included as well as a comparative treatment of one scene in both watercolour and pastel.

I am, of course, indebted to three tutors for their perseverance: Bill Whitsett, who got me started and provided an insight into what art was about, Jane Humphrey, whose artistic genius has pushed me way beyond what I would have attempted on my own, and Anthony Osler, who has demonstrated a pragmatism about art and enjoying the quest.

Not least, I am grateful to Anne who has encouraged me throughout, but been a genuine and constructive critic – a rare quality.

Click here to see Nick’s collection.

Paul Coppen Visits His Old Home – 19 October 2007

Wilda Woodland

In 1928 Paul Coppen was born in the Old Kent Road. His father was a civil engineer who was engaged in the building of the Odeon, Leicester Square and the Trocadero. When war came, as a religious conscientious objector, he was sent to work on the land at Ashfield.

In 1946, after hostilities ended, he and his family came to live at Sots Hole, now Margaret Catchpole Cottage. He worked at Cocksedges in Ipswich but sadly his health deteriorated; he developed leukaemia and died in Ipswich Hospital.

Paul, aged 7, went to school at Kettleburgh. The winter of 1946-47 was extremely cold with a lot of snow so Paul took refuge in a tea chest which was kept in the cottage as a kennel for the dog, Punch.

Paul’s mother was expecting a baby. When the birth became imminent, the little boy was sent post-haste to the vicarage so that Father Davies could alert the midwife. Paul’s brother, Andrew, was born downstairs in the living room.

Paul still has an affection for Brandeston. Although he now breeds Galloways in County Durham, he takes opportunities to visit and cam to see Martin and Della Chapman on 19 October 2007.

Suffolk Newsletter of the Year - October 2007

the Brandeston, our village newsletter, has won first prize in this Suffolk competition. Written and published by Peter Thurlow (pictured left), the bi-monthly magazine easily beat its competitors after being judged as relevant, interesting, well produced and colourful. On being told about the prize, Peter immediately quipped, as only he can, “So, that’s ‘Top Brandy Spin Guru Trounces Foes In Slick Redtop Mag Triumph Drama’, then.”

The other photos below show the actual trophy and also David Risk, Chairman of the Parish Council, with the certificate and Mark Hounsell, Parish Clerk, who received the trophy on behalf of the village.

Click here to see past editions of the Brandeston.

James Moorman Marries Jo Newell

Thorpeness Country Club - 10 August 2007

James Moorman, formerly of Mill Lane and more recently the Street, and the son of Sue Fisher and Don Moorman (pictured below, right), married Joanna Newell at Thorpeness Country Club on 10 August. Jo is from Framlingham and they met while they were at Thomas Mills High School. On a gloriously sunny day and in a beautiful location overlooking the sea, guests enjoyed the civil ceremony followed by canapés and champagne on the cliff top before the relaxed reception. The bride, dressed in cream muslin, entered the room to the theme from The Scarlet Pimpernel written and played by Jo’s uncle Nick. He was accompanied by Rod on flute and a family friend on piano.

Jo’s bridesmaids were her sister Alison, James’s sister Hannah and Jo’s cousin Jess. The bride’s flower girl was her cousin Sarah, aged two.

John Evans, “Frenchie” from school days at Thomas Mills and a friend of James since they were 13, read a poem and Jo’s great aunt Dorothy recited one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. During the signing of the register, touchingly witnessed by James’s 93 years old grandfather, Bill May, Jo’s friend Liz beautifully sang a love song to the couple.

This set the scene for the pre-reception drinks overlooking the sea. Master of Ceremonies John Martin, who returned from a trip to Mongolia only the previous evening, introduced the speeches from Jo’s father Chris Newell, best man Oliver (James’s brother) and of course James himself. There were several references to James’s accident-prone nature for some reason. The cake was a spectacular tower of 107 decorated cup cakes individually made by mother-of-the-bride, Lesley.

The day ended with dancing to music from Matt Bayfield and his band D-funct. This was memorable for the way 93-years-old Bill managed to dance with Dorothy and Daphne at the same time (see the Photo Gallery).

Jo and James are spending their honeymoon in Rome and Umbria before returning to their home in East Grinstead.

Lesley and Christopher Newell

Click here for more photos from the wedding

Graham Vellacott’s Retirement

29 April 2007

Mary Baker

The celebrations on Sunday, 29 April to mark the retirement of the Reverend Graham Vellacott will remain in our memories for a long time. Graham moved from Easton to became the priest-in-charge at All Saints in January 1999 following the retirement of Roger Dixon.

A service was held in the morning for the whole benefice, and many more, at Easton Church. Representatives of all three churches were invited to contribute to a joyful service with the sound of bells and lively singing in contrast to quieter, more thoughtful moments.

A short time later, around 180, by some estimates, of Graham and Mary’s friends from the villages met again at Brandeston village hall. As it was a beautiful day, people could spill out onto the balcony and patio. It was particularly good to see their daughters, Heather and “Titch”, who came a long way to share in the day.

Paul Baker spoke briefly about Graham’s contribution to the lives of so many people. He joked about the wear and tear on local roads caused by the vicar, only to find that he was nearer the truth than he had expected. He went on to describe the qualities that have allowed Graham to become such an important part of village life, summing it up with one of Graham’s favourite words - faithful. This speech, and Graham’s reply, were followed by the presentation of gifts. A beautiful picture of the three churches along with Soham House and the much-loved donkeys was painted by Sue Scott. There was also a garden seat to encourage Graham and Mary to make the most of their retirement. The remainder of the generous donations was combined into a cheque. Inside information suggests that it might be used to rekindle Graham’s enthusiasm for bee-keeping.

A party isn’t a party without food and the food and drink for this occasion was special, almost like the story of the loaves and the fishes. Plates laden with food appeared from all directions and disappeared almost as quickly. Thank you to everyone who made a contribution.

We are all thinking of Graham as he prepares to go into hospital and we pray for your quick and restful recovery. We look forward to seeing you again as a priest and a friend when you are better.

Click here to see more photos.

Anna Carr’s New Shop

Anna Carr (nee Martin), the daughter of Brenda and Richard, has recently opened a new shop in Framlingham. Named after long established resident of Brandeston, Ruby Peck, and her late husband Ted, Ruby & Ted is a children’s wear shop on Station Road, Framlingham. Despite not having much call for the product herself, Ruby is said to be delighted at the thought of having a shop named after her and wishes it every success!

Some of you will know that the essence of this has been a long time in the making and what you might call an uphill struggle for Anna. Now that it’s finally a reality, she is pleased with the results and the support she has had. Of course it goes without saying that she hopes it continues well into the future.

Why Ruby & Ted? “I love the names, they sit well together for girls’ and boys’ clothing and it seemed only natural to keep it in the family since Ruby and Ted are, after all, my dad’s great aunt and uncle!”

“We currently stock newborn to 5yrs for both girls and boys; however, in the early autumn deliveries there is a trial for 6 to 12 yr olds. Ultimately I’d love to stock lingerie as well since it is my specialist subject. Having been out of it for some time now, no pun intended, I’d love  the chance to get back into it and achieve my end goal.”

Why not pay her a visit and let her know what you think. Click here for more information.

The Dempseys Visit Brandeston - March 2007

Bill and Kathy’s eagerly awaited return to the village seemed to go well but was marred by colds they picked up in Ireland. They said that they met most of the people they used to know plus some new ones. We understand that they had several lunches and dinners with their old friends when changes to the village - and the people, for that matter - were discussed. Bill also refreshed his UK driving skills having to drive on the left down narrow country lanes for the first time for several years. Perhaps someone could check the bridge on the approach to Framlingham for paint marks. Visits to Brook Lodge,  the former USAF base at Rendlesham, Aldeburgh and other towns and villages filled their time when they werten’t with their old friends. The changes at the Queen were a bit of a shock for them as it has been substantially modernised since they were last there. Click here to see more of their photos.

New to the Village - February 2007

While not at all new to the village, Karren, Steve and family have moved from their house in The Street to The Partridges, the former home of Margaret Dickson, in Mill Lane.

Meanwhile, Helen and David Fletcher and their two children have moved into Karen and Steve’s old house. They lived in Ipswich until this month but are looking forward to village life.

Another new couple in the village is Rosie and Douglas "TJ" Toenjes who have recently moved into Larcoms Lawn. They arrived here on 2 January and have already started meeting people with visits to the Coffee Morning. Coming from Florida they have a two-year stay in the UK while TJ acts as a cargo consultant at Felixstowe port with a possible extension for a further two years. TJ is a Vietnam Veteran with a Purple Heart, an American combat decoration for being wounded in action, and picked up his nickname when his colleagues couldn't pronounce his surname. Rosie is a primary school teacher and they have two sons - one with the military and the other a computer consultant in Atlanta, Georgia.

Send in photos and we’ll attach them to this article.

An 80th Birthday Celebration for Peter Arbon

14 January, 2007

On Sunday, 14th January, 2007, some ninety villagers, friends and family members gathered in the Village Hall for a surprise birthday lunch for this much loved member of our local community. The day was organised by Peter’s nephew, young Peter, very much as an expression of gratitude to the folk of the village who have done so much to support Peter in recent years. A veritable army of female family members, of differing generations, did a remarkable job in undertaking the entire catering responsibility in the ‘feeding of the five thousand’.

Peter spent virtually his entire working life, some forty-eight years, the greater part of  it as Head Gardener, maintaining the estate at Brandeston Hall, initially during the period of wartime army occupation and from 1949, when it became what it still is today - the Junior School of Framlingham College, until his ultimate retirement.

Among the guests present was a generous turnout of former colleagues and former pupils, a number with links back as far as 1949.  A birthday toast was proposed by Bob Williams with entertainment provided, in the traditional manner, by Ray Hubbard of the Suffolk Horse Society. A request for donations in support of the work of the Society (in lieu of birthday gifts) raised a sum in excess of £400 – which delighted Peter. An expression of thanks to the Arbon family, for the provision of a magnificent lunch, was made by Richard Broad, former Headmaster of Brandeston Hall who, together with his wife Cynthia, had made the long journey from Honiton in Devon to be part of this very special day. We understand that Peter recovered, from all the excitement, in time to celebrate his official 80th birthday on 17 January!

Click here to Read Bob Williams’s birthday toast to Peter in full, along with other tributes.


Click here to visit the Gallery for more photos of Peter’s birthday lunch.

Bill and Kathy Dempsey Revisiting Suffolk

Bill and Kathy Dempsey lived in Brook Lodge in the 1980s, returning to America in 1989. Bill was with the USAF at Bentwaters and chose to live with the locals rather than on the base. He was on his own for three months before Kathy came over to join him but made loads of friends by visiting the Queen (when Ray and Myra Bumpstead were in charge) playing pokey die and developing a taste for Adnams. Unfortunately for their friends, they had to return to the US but came over to visit Brandeston again in 1992.

Bill and Kathy have rented a place in Framlingham for a week from 10 March  and they will be catching up with old friends and making new ones on their visits to the village.

Kariandusi Cycle Challenge

Kathy Churchill, Marian Hutson, Karren Piper,

Shauna Craig and Mary Graham

Back in September 2006, five rather apprehensive mums left the dads in charge of the children and set off for Kenya clutching their cycle helmets and gel seats. We were to take up the Kariandusi Cycle Challenge, which involved cycling 280kms through the rough terrain of the Rift Valley, visiting the villages and schools we were raising money for. Quite a daunting task.

There were ten in our group and from the first meeting at Heathrow we knew it was going to be fun. We had two nights in Nairobi at the start and with the use of the Dragoman Overland truck, visited the Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Sanctuary. Both amazing places who are doing a great job of looking after the orphaned animals and returning them to back to the wild. One of the newest arrivals at the Elephant Orphanage was adopted by Marian who will be able to watch its progress with her girls over the internet. We had a final supper at the famous Carnivores Restaurant and then the big day finally arrived.

We were fitted with our bikes and all the kit by a lovely New Zealand couple and Nash, our Kenyan driver, who were to look after us so well for the next 6 days ………. and then we were off! All those months of training round the Suffolk lanes and now here we were in rural Kenya, on a bike, with 280kms to go!

Needless to say the whole thing was just amazing. The cycling was hard, tough at times (the volcanic dust and sand was a challenge not to be forgotten) but we all made it just about in one piece. We cycled past zebra, giraffe, baboon, buffalo and flamingos, camped next to hippos, struggled up impossible hills and whizzed down dirt tracks with the sound of ‘how are you?’ echoing in our ears as the little children rushed to wave at us. We camped every night, putting up our tents, helping to make the supper, drinking a few glasses of wine and then in bed by 9pm.

We cycled from just outside Nairobi through Longonot National Park to Lake Niavasha, through Hell’s Gate National Park, round the lake to Kariandusi Primary School near Lake Elmenteita, up to Lake Nakuru, famous for its flamingos, and then the long stretch to Lake Bogoria. The last day of 99kms was the most challenging, especially the afternoon when temperatures went over 40°C; there was a head-wind and we had territorial ostriches to watch out for. Never has a cold beer been so welcome!

As most of you know we undertook this challenge in order to raise money for the Kariandusi School Trust and in particular Simba School. For most of us, the day we visited Simba was the most memorable. It had rained the day before and the schoolyard and classrooms were just in a terrible state. Thick sticky mud clung to our shoes and the children were covered. Only the luckiest ones had Wellingtons, the rest had very tatty trainers or hand me downs. We were made so welcome, the children were lovely, very polite and proud of their work and they loved having their photo taken. There were very poor facilities at the school and our money is going to build them a brand new building with concreted floors, walkways, proper doors and windows, a new water tank and toilet block. Ongoing sponsorship will help with providing up to date text books and stationery. The visit to the school made us realise just how lucky our own children are and we felt proud that a group of Suffolk mums really will make a difference to the lives of these children and those that follow. We shall never forget cycling up the hill to Simba to be greeted by all the children lining the road, cheering and singing. A very humbling experience.

We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us and supported us throughout training, especially our families. We have raised an incredible £7000 so far and hope to have a few events in the New Year to try and reach our goal of £10,000.

Thank you once again,

Kathy, Marian, Karren, Shauna and Mary.

The ‘Babes on Bikes’.

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