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  Emma Cable    18 April 1932 – 14 Aug 2020

It is with great sadness that the village has learned of the death of a lovely lady: Emma Cable.


Emma Leeks was born in Essex but her mother died and Emma was placed with Barnardo’s. She came to Wickham Skeith as a baby and was fostered by Miss Hilda Lingley who lived in Mill House on the Green. After attending Wickham Skeith School she returned to Barnardo’s at the age of 14 to be trained in domestic work at Warlies, the domestic training school at Waltham Abbey.


At around this time Emma was called into the office to be informed that she had a twin brother, George, who had been briefly fostered in Wickham Skeith but then moved elsewhere. Such separations of siblings were not uncommon but to be unaware of a twin must have been difficult for Emma.


She worked for a time at the home of Miss Chavasse who was responsible for the whole of the girls' side of Barnardo's work; a lady who left a lasting impression on Emma. However, Wickham Skeith had a strong pull and Emma returned around 1950. Here she met and married Bill Cable in 1955 and they had 3 sons: Alan, John and David. Sadly Bill died in 1981 at only 48.


Emma was a regular at many village events, often in the company of her very good friend Patsy Norman (née Durrant) another Barnardo’s girl. Emma will be much missed and her passing brings to an end a 130 year connection of Wickham Skeith with Dr Barnardo’s.                                                                   Pete Davidson

 Emma Leeks and William Cable wedding


Alan Lummis (son of Barnardo’s girl), William Cable, Emma Leeks, Patricia Durrant (Barnardo’s girl), Rudolph Kischkel (husband of Barnardo’s girl).








                                                                               Healthwatch Suffolk Survey


Dear Parish Clerk,

I trust you are keeping safe and well. I am getting in touch because we have just launched a new project, with Healthwatch Essex, that aims to gather feedback from the public and also our local NHS and care workforce about use of digital services (appointment systems, online consultations, phone triage, remote visiting etc).

We help get the best out of health and social care services in Suffolk; improving them today and helping to shape them for tomorrow by engaging with people living here. We use the things you tell us about local care to influence the delivery and design of services in the county – not just for people who use them now, but for anyone who might need to use them in the future.

The aim of this project is to understand how the sudden increase in the use of technology during the pandemic has impacted upon people’s experiences of receiving, or providing, both NHS or social care. This is particularly important as we know many of these new means of access are here to stay, so we need to make sure they will work for those who will need and rely on them.  

I’d really appreciate any help to circulate the survey widely, either digitally or in your local newsletter. We are also keen to reach people from BAME communities and also those who may be ‘digitally excluded’, so any help to reach communities will really give us the best chance of achieving a diverse response.

If you need any further information about the survey, please get in touch. Lastly, if possible, I’d really appreciate it if you can let me know how you have shared the survey as that will help us to track reach and to report that to the ICS Board in our updates.

Many thanks






Elizabeth Storer

Community Development Officer



Add: 14 Hill View Business Park, Old Ipswich Road,Claydon, Suffolk IP6 0AJ

Tel: 01449 703949



Follow Healthwatch Suffolk on Twitter or Facebook








Volunteers Urgently Needed

Community First Responders (CFR’s) and  Fund Raisers

Join a ZOOM meeting 19:00 2nd September 2020 for more information.


My name is Mike Favager, I have been an active Community First Responder (CFR) in Mendlesham since 2009. In 2009 the Mendlesham and Wickham Skieth CFR group was formed from 9 volunteers. The group were trained by East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) paramedics, assessed and given the callsign NZ572 which remains extant. For the last 3-4 years I have been the sole responder in the group as others have moved on to pastures new. It has always been the aim to achieve 24/7 cover for the community which may well have been achieved in 2009/10, however, as the numbers have decreased over the years, so has the number of hours covered. As a one man band for the last 4 years or so, the cover has reduced to a few hours a week, which is quite woeful for an area of this size. The role is purely voluntary, not paid, all equipment is supplied by EEAST, uniform is not required or currently worn by NZ572 responders, as uniform would have to be paid for by funds raised by the group and we have precious little in that department.


What does a Community First Responder do?

A CFR responds to an emergency call initiated by a Dispatcher based in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Norwich from a 999 call. The request comes via a dedicated phone on loan from the Ambulance Service and the CFR is requested to attend a limited range of emergencies in the local area (normally with 5 miles). These calls are limited to cardiac arrest, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, chest pains, strokes, diabetic, choking, anaphylaxis, seizures, feeling unwell and a few other minor emergencies. All classified as Category 1 or 2 by the EOC. A CFR does not respond to trauma, road traffic accidents, potential or suspected COVID-19 cases and many other lower category emergencies. Each CFR group will hold at least one emergency pack including Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), Oxygen Cylinder and suitable masks, a limited amount of bandages and other bits and bobs.


Are CFR’s Trained by the Ambulance Service?

Yes, the EEAST currently delivers training over 5 days, and responders are continually assessed throughout. The training is very thorough, comprehensive and relaxed this will give a responder the confidence required to support the local community in attending an emergency. The course is certificated which can be used to further advance your own training if required.


What do I need to do to become a CFR?

You must be over 18 with a full driving licence and willing to use your car to respond. Your insurance company will not increase your premium for volunteering and will provide a letter to EEAST to say you are covered by insurance. A DBS check is required. An occupational health questionnaire is also required to be completed.


What would be my commitment?

You would have to commit to giving up some of your spare time to volunteer each month, however, this can be as much or as little as you want. You would also be required to attend a monthly training meeting for about 2 hours or so (not all sessions are mandatory). You can opt out of attending a call if you feel you are unable or unwilling to attend that specific emergency.


Join a ZOOM meeting to see and hear more on 2nd September at 19:00. Please contact mike@favager.co.uk for the meeting details.




Nexus fostering Generic PosterA5 v3 2








 Historical Research Volunteer poster



Oil Syndicate news


Since we set up the oil syndicate 11 years ago there have been four order deadlines each year - at the end of September, November, January and June. A Spring order has been suggested in the past but, for many, oil ordered through the winter has been sufficient to last through to June.  However, given the exceptional circumstances during April, and the anticipated rise in consumption, the syndicate ran an additional lock down order. There was plenty of demand and we were able to place an order for over 22,000 litres - and strike a brilliant deal at 23p per litre. It’s now clear there’s sufficient demand at this time of year to add a fifth order date to the schedule in future years. This will be 31 March.

The next order deadline is 30 June. If you’d like to join the more-than two thirds of the village who already belong, all you need do is let me have your details so everything’s in place for the next order. You can email me at jerrybassett@icloud.com or call me on 765908.  I’ll need your name, address, telephone no(s) and email address if you have email.  Then, in June, just let me know if you need oil. There’ll be a reminder in the June newsletter and I’ll also send those on email a reminder around the middle of the month.  A full explanation of the scheme can be found in last September’s newsletter if you still have it to hand, otherwise I can send you all the details.





Welcome to our village


We would like to extend a warm welcome to all those who have recently moved into our village. We hope that you will soon settle in and be very happy here.


We hope to meet you all over the next couple of months at the various events so please take a look through our calendar and come along or contact the various people whose details are given.











It is with great pleasure that the Parish Council announce that Wickham Skeith now has a Defibrillator.  


You may well have seen the yellow defibrillator cabinet on the wall of the village hall.  Should you need to call for an emergency ambulance for someone who has collapsed with a suspected heart attack, they will tell you the code to enter into the keypad to access the defibrillator. 


The Parish Council is currently looking at training providers and, once organised, there will be a list of training sessions published that will be free for people to attend.  There will also be an opening ceremony for our Wickham Skeith Defibrillator - more details to follow.


The Parish Council thanks Cllr Freeman and all those involved with fund raising events, enabling the launch of this project.




Jessie’s Wood


The gates for Jessie’s Wood are now in place - one at each entrance. 

We hope they will deter potential fly tippers.

We have done this reluctantly but feel that we must protect this special place.

However we continue to encourage walkers, dog walkers and horse riders, and those looking for some peace and tranquillity to go round the gates and into the wood.

We hope you understand.         Joy and Geoff





Dog Mess

Please can dog walkers pick up after their dog(s) or, if that is too difficult, please kick off the paths. There has been an increase in dog mess on several of our paths and clearing up after your dog would both reduce the unsightliness of it and also save other walkers from that horrible slipping feeling as your foot slides on a recent offering.


The Churchyard

After many years when volunteers maintained our churchyards so beautifully they have had to withdraw and we are very sorry to lose them. A contractor has been employed and has begun to mow and strim the churchyards fortnightly. Of course this has a cost to it, but we feel that the churchyards are important.

If any villagers would like to contribute towards this cost the PCC would be very grateful –offers to Liz Davidson 01449 766622 please.

If there are any villagers who would be prepared to mow and strim the churchyard in 2020 fortnightly I’d be very glad to hear from them.

Thank you – Margaret




Mobile Library Service


Suffolk County Council’s mobile library van calls in the village every four weeks for you to collect, return and renew books and DVDs. Its nominated stop is in The Street. There has been some interest in the van stopping in the layby by the Chalet Bungalows. The Library Service is prepared to make an extra stop but it would need some timetabling changes. Please let me know before their next visit on 9 May if you would be interested in using this service. If there is sufficient interest, the changes could be introduced from July. Thank you. Melinda Appleby. 01449 766879 or mappleby@tiscali.co.uk



















For residents wishing to book a journey, please call 01449 614271

up to a week before you would like to travel. 


Customer Services will be able to answer any questions that you may have

(but should you encounter any problems booking services,

 please call Cllr Andrew Stringer direct on 07545 423842 or 01449 780349).









The traditional orchards of the East of England are coming under scrutiny in a new Heritage Lottery funded landscape project. Orchards are an integral part of our historic landscape, but have been relatively poorly researched. They are important for landscape and biodiversity as well as being valuable to people and their local environment. The project team, based at the University of East Anglia, will survey and record traditional orchards, and research the history of fruit growing in the region. The project will also involve the restoration of important old orchards, and the creation of entirely new ones. It builds on the recent work of the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group.

As part of the project, volunteers are asked to survey their parish for any remaining old orchards. What orchards still exist and what fruit varieties do they contain? Over the late summer and autumn I will be around the village recording any orchards that survive and asking to record which fruit varieties still grow there. If you would like further information, would like to help with the survey or talk to me about an old orchard that you own, please contact me on mappleby@tiscali.co.uk

After the survey, the Parish Council will give further consideration to the plan to create a new community orchard on the Little Green. Thank you – Melinda Appleby

Churchyard Rules

For the sake of safety please would all churchyard users remember that cut flowers on graves should be in a holder which is part of the headstone or in a metal (preferably aluminium) holder that is sunk into the ground with the top flush with ground level.  Glass containers and jam jars are not allowed because they break easily and then become a hazard for people & animals. 

Each grave should be kept tidy or be easy to mow.


Village Website

The village website has been migrated onto a new address and Stephen McKie is working hard to make it a helpful place for information about the village, parish council, clubs and events.

The new address is:


Thanks to Stephen McKie and Julie Sore who put the village content of this newsletter onto the website for us.


Compost Event!!

8 September 2020

Babergh District Council are running a free composting giveaway event being hosted in the district, to share with local residents and groups.


Read more on Compost Event!!


19 February 2020



Read more on Coronavirus

Police and Crime Commissioner Survey

27 January 2020

PLease click on See All News to read the PCC letter and to complete the survey.  You will also find links to other useful documents that will help you decided your answers.

Read more on Police and Crime Commissioner Survey


25 September 2019

It is with great pleasure that the Parish Council announce that Wickham Skeith now has a Defibrillator.  

Read more on Defibrillator

Healthwatch Suffolk calls for your stories of care in the county

1 April 2016

Healthwatch Suffolk has the power to shape, influence and improve local NHS and social care services in the county. It is independent from the NHS and social care, which means you can be honest when sharing your views.

Read more on Healthwatch Suffolk calls for your stories of care in the county

Hedges and Verges

1 February 2016

It would appear that many local parishes are unhappy with the roadside services currently being supplied by Suffolk County Council and this issue is being addressed directly with our County Councillor, Andrew Stringer.

Read more on Hedges and Verges