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What's On

Welcome to our What's On page.  Everything happening during the coming month is listed here, but but please check the Village Hall and News pages for information about events that are planned for later on.

See, also, Neighbour's Events at Occold,  Debenham, Pettaugh, Redlingfield, Thornham and Thorndon.



 Star Hunt


 STAR HUNT – place a decorated or lit star in your window or garden to

 join the village trail in December

 Join the village star hunt from November 29th

Place a bright or decorated star in your window or garden.

Post a picture on Facebook - on your page or @bactonbenefice

Hunt other stars around the village - how many can you find?



Dates for your Diary

Throughout December             Star Hunt around the village

Sunday 20th December             Carols on the Village Green 6pm



Monday 11th January    Parish Council Meeting 8pm All welcome – probably on Zoom


 Mobile Library

Next visit to Wickham Skeith 9.45-10am layby @ Chalet Bungalows and 10.05-10.20 @ Haymead House, The Street on 17thDecember.


Oil Syndicate

The next deadline for syndicate orders is 31 January 2021.

 If you’d like oil please email me at jerrybassett@icloud.com or call 765908 if you’ve no access to email.  An explanation of the scheme can be found in September’s newsletter but if you don’t have that to hand please let me know and I’ll forward details.


Welcome to the village

to Kirsty Duce and Trevor Grant, now at Red House.

We hope you will be very happy here.


Christmas Gifts Raising funds for the Village and The Royal British Legion

In these peculiar times, with no craft fairs to attend, and the Village unable to fundraise, I have set up a large display of my Swarovski jewellery, including snowflakes, icicles, bookmarks, and other Christmas gifts including angels, nutcrackers, keyrings, hangings and stocking fillers.

Viewing is strictly by appointment with a maximum of one person at a time and a maximum of two people per day. All Covid precautions have and will be observed.

I am donating 20% of any profits to Wickham Skeith Village Hall & 10% to The Royal British Legion

If you would like to make an appointment to view, please contact me on 766398 or e-mail me at margaret.horne1234@btinternet.com



Stolen Gate from Jessie’s Wood

On the night of Saturday 7th November one of the gates to Jessie’s Wood was stolen. This was very upsetting as the wood is very special to us.

Thankfully Nigel Merriam and Ben Perks were able to put up a temporary gate to block the entrance to what now looked like an open invitation to fly tippers.

A few days later Simon erected a new wooden gate which has a number of additional safeguards to make it more difficult to remove, and easily identifiable, to hopefully discourage this happening again.

Andrew Stringer was as ever, a source of support and advice.

Thank you for the messages of outrage that many of you shared with us.

Joy and Geoff 


Village Hall Committee:

At the end of this very strange year the Village Hall Committee wishes everybody the very best Christmas and New Year they can possibly have and we hope to be able to return to some of our usual activities in the coming months.

Thanks to Dave for keeping the outside of the Hall looking tidy and to Jeanne Mason for continuing with the lottery bonus number competition which has continued to generate funds available for the Village Hall.

During this holiday season we would normally have the plum pudding walk but as with so many traditions this one is in abeyance although it would be great to see as many people out and about walking the footpaths around the village. There are some brilliant ones-why not try one you haven't done before with your family? Check out the  map here   http://wickhamskeith.suffolk.cloud/footpaths/


I note with interest that there is a proposal to have a FOUR DAY BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND in 2022 to mark the accession of our Queen. Perhaps we should get our heads together to see what we can do for such an auspicious anniversary? I'm sure Melinda would welcome ideas to publish in the Newsletter!!  Enjoy the Festive Season!



John Hempstead 1937 – 2020

John was brought up in Stowmarket and after leaving school did his apprenticeship with, and eventually worked for R G Carter, the largest building company in Norfolk, initially as a carpenter and then as a site foreman. He married Sheila Mayes in 1957 and they moved into the house on The Green, next to her parents, Hilda and Day Mayes. Their son Ian was born the next year and their daughter Diane in 1961. Following on, they had five grandchildren, Gavin, Mark, Scott, Lewis and Natalie, who have given them seven great-grandchildren!

The Mayes family were very much a Wickham family, heavily involved in the village, so John had very little option but to join in too. He was always there at the village events, especially working hard with Sheila and Laura at the fete, where they always made more money than any other stall. After he lost Sheila he soldiered on, with help, but his Parkinson’s made it tough for him and the current restrictions meant that he missed having visitors.

As a great-grandfather, it gave him enormous pleasure to have some of his family living nearby: it must be very rare in these modern days to have four generations, of one family, all living in the same parish. Our sympathies extend to all the family.

Nigel Merriam


Brian Bloor 5/5/38 - 9/11/20

Brian moved to Wickham Skeith, with his lovely wife Margaret, in 2007, following a successful career working for IBM UK Laboratories in Winchester. 

He very quickly found his niche in village life, first as a valued member of the congregation at St. Andrew’s, then serving as a Parish Councillor. He and Margaret were enthusiastic members of the Lunch Club, often working together to prepare vegetables or wash up. As keen gardeners they were founder members of the Gardening Club and regulars at History Club too.

Brian was quiet and thoughtful, a true gentleman - a gentle man - with a wonderful sense of humour. Discussions at Monday Morning Group were always enlivened by his participation, and who can forget his portrayal of the vicar in Sheila’s Meadowford murder mystery stories, or his talks at the Summer Soirees?

 He will be very greatly missed and we all send our love, thoughts and prayers to Margaret, Deborah, Greg and all Brian’s wider family.

 Mary and Peter Paine



 Macmillan Fund Raiser

Well. We raised an impressive £280. Thank you so much to all who popped envelopes through our letter boxes. So, in spite of being unable to socialise, or have friends attending the event from other villages, we feel we have done really well and have helped swell this great charity's funds.

Well done and thank you.

Margaret Knights and Sue Merriam



Free arts programme for Suffolk’s older residents

‘What is your village made of?’ invites adults (55+) to take part in activities that encourage creativity and connection with others, using their home villages and towns as inspiration. The programme is part of Suffolk Artlink’s ‘Make, Do & Friends’ project and will last until the end of March 2021.

Professional artists will publish regular Create activities on a blog site, for you to enjoy at your leisure. Each activity, from photography and drawing to creative writing and printmaking, invites you to explore and enjoy different aspects of your surroundings – and offers the opportunity to share your creations with others.

If you fancy getting together, but not face-to-face, then why not join one of the friendly Community online get-togethers? Whether it’s taking part in a writing group or the Radio Drama Listening Clubs, these relaxed Zoom sessions will help you develop technical skills and confidence whilst enjoying a creative workshop.

The Zoom sessions are ALL FREE, but booking is essential as spaces are limited. 

 Full information about the activities can be found at www.makedoandfriends.co.uk.


To request a Create Activity Pack, which can be posted direct to your home address, please either call 07857 002974 or email mdf@suffolkartlink.org.uk and leave your full postal address.




Wickham Skeith’s Conservation Area

At its last meeting, Parish Council considered proposals for tree felling at a number of properties around the village green. It was agreed that it would be helpful to publish a map of the conservation area boundary with a reminder of the implications of the designation.

The boundary was last reviewed and adopted by the District Council in 2008. It describes the trees contributing towards the character of the green, singling out the line of oaks at Wickham Place and a group of walnut, field maple and ash further west. The appraisal also notes the weeping willows and poplar and two horse chestnuts on the green itself and the beech by the footpath to the church. But all trees are included.

The Local Planning Authority is under a duty to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of Conservation Areas and the trees may be an important contributor to the landscape.

Therefore anyone proposing to carry out works to a tree in a Conservation Area must give at least 6 weeks’ notice to Mid Suffolk District Council. This period of time allows the council to consider the relative importance of the tree and decide whether to make an individual Tree Preservation Order to protect it.  


 Conservation area map


A copy of this Boundary Map will be saved to the Other Information page of the Parish Council section on this website once it comes off the Whats On page.




Oil Syndicate

The scheme continues to get bigger and better with every passing year and currently orders oil for around two thirds of the village. In the last 12 months we collectively ordered 108,000 litres, up from 90,000 the previous year. And, thanks to your support, we were once again able to strike excellent deals with the oil companies.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the scheme, here’s a reminder of how it works.

If you'd like to use the syndicate, there’ll be five opportunities (up from four in the past) to place orders over the next 12 months:
-  by 30 September

-  by 30 November

-  by 31 January

-  by 31 March (additional new date)

-  by 30 June


I’ll place a reminder in the village newsletter and also send you an email reminder around two weeks before each of these dates.  Then, on or before any of the dates, let me know by email (or phone if you don’t have email) that you’d like to be included in the next order. I’ll need to know:

- address and telephone number(s) - unless you’ve ordered before

- quantity required (min 500 litres)

- any special instructions - eg concerning delivery

Within a couple of days of the above dates, a bulk order will be placed with the oil company which offers the best deal, usually several pence per litre lower than the price available to customers who order individually.  I'll let you know the same day:
- the name of the company

- price

- expected delivery date

- the company's contact details in case you need to speak to them directly

I'll pass your address and phone numbers to the company who will contact you (but normally only if you don't already have an account with them) and they’ll bill you directly.


If you've any questions please ring Jerry on 765908 or email jerrybassett@icloud.com





 Check out the pictures of the Wonderful Wickham Skeith Scarecrows in the gallery section.  



Wickham Skeith Scarecrow Competition


 Bright ladyP7170062






Village sign by Joy Homan




~ C E L E B R A T I N G   T H E   V I L L A G E   S I G N~




Our latest update for Wickham Skeith residents.

Please remember that if you have any concerns, need any help with shopping, someone to run errands or simply a person to chat with, please get in touch with one of the following. They will direct you to the most suitable volunteer. Margaret Jones-Evans: 767121, Liz and Pete Davidson: 766622, Jenny and Will Elphick: 766885, Nigel and Sue Merriam: 766222.

Local services.

Below we list further local services that were not in the previous Newsletter.

J Lawes are now taking orders for delivery with account customers or prepayment.

Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June.

Other retailers open from 15th June providing Coronavirus cases continue to fall.

Doorstep deliveries are being offered by Morrisons for the vulnerable and elderly. Call - 0345 611 6111 - select extension 5 to place your order. They offer a range of groceries and household essentials.

The Bull Auberge at Yaxley prepare freshly made ready meals for you to collect to heat up at home. Menu available on Social media or phone 01379 783604.

Diss Garden Centre – Now Open Mon to Sat, 9am to 5.30pm. Sunday 10-4pm. 12 customers at a time. Card or contactless payments. No cash.

Goodies' Food Hall, Long Stratton: is delivering; minimum order value applies - www.goodiesfoodhall.co.uk  01379 676880

Marrfish - local fresh fish frozen & delivered the day after your order, minimum order value applies. www.marrfish.co.uk

Myhills of Diss – Pet and garden centre, they will deliver. 01379 642465.

Clarkes of Walsham. Building materials, order online 5 to 10 days delivery: https://www.clarkesofwalsham.co.uk/coronavirus phone 01359 259259

Remember,if you are feeling vulnerable there is no need to take risks – our volunteers are keen to help.





We are all feeling under pressure with the situation, and if for any reason you need help or need to talk to someone, please contact one of the following.

Margaret Jones-Evans: 767121       Liz and Pete Davidson: 766622     Jenny and Will Elphick: 766885      Nigel and Sue Merriam: 766222.

If you have email and are not receiving updates please let us know:  our contact details - nhmerriam@btconnect.com   Tel; 766222

          Numerous local businesses are striving to keep going by offering delivery or takeaway options. We have listed some below, please talk to them and see if they can help and check to see if Wickham Skeith is within their delivery area. Some of the traders will have a minimum price for delivery.

          The Four Horseshoes has a takeaway menu and are also offering grocery, meat and booze boxes, see website: https://www.thefourhorseshoes.net/en-GB/homepage  Tel 01379678777

The Stoke Ash White Horse is providing a “take away” service during the crisis. The will prepare meals, you can see the menu online, just phone 01379 678222, put your order through payment over the phone by card with order. Mon – Sun 4 - 9pm, Sun (lunch only) 12 – 3pm    www.whitehorse-suffolk.co.uk

They are also now running a Pub Shop taking orders for fresh produce with contactless shopping. Telephone daily between 12pm and 4pm and place your order for next day collection. More details on their website:   www.whitehorse-suffolk.co.uk, Tel: 01379 678222.

Classic Fresh Foods are taking orders for a variety of veg/fruit boxes online:  https://www.classicvegbox.co.uk/ , they will deliver your order to the car park at The Four Horseshoes on Thursday mornings between 10am and 11.30am.

The Walnut Tree at Thwaite is also selling vegetarian takeaway meals. Telephone 01449 766003 to order and pay.                        

M and M Butchers in Stowupland are delivering and their telephone number is 01449 677720.

G.Shurey & Son Butchers in Eye. 01379 871061 Will deliver.

If you have a regular supplier it is worth giving them a call and enquire to see if they are delivering.

Sam at Knoll Farm has offered assistance, should pets/ livestock need to be taken to the vets, whilst owners are self quarantined or in the unfortunate event of them contracting the virus.  07742 450908.                      

As so often happens, situations like this can provide an opportunity for unscrupulous people to operate. We have heard instances where fraudsters have offered to shop, taking the money and not returning. We suggest you pay for the shopping when it is delivered. Also suspicious phone calls have started on a similar line, please be aware!

Our latest update for Wickham Skeith residents.

Please remember that if you have any concerns, need any help with shopping, someone to run errands or simply a person to chat with, please get in touch with one of the following. They will direct you to the most suitable volunteer. Margaret Jones-Evans: 767121, Liz and Pete Davidson: 766622, Jenny and Will Elphick: 766885, Nigel and Sue Merriam: 766222.



Local Food Bank 

If you have any surplus food, groceries or household essentials please deposit them in the BOB boxes, in the porch at Sue’s, West House or Margaret’s, High Banks, No.1 Broadway.

Should you need help from the Food Bank, please ring Carl on 01449 781650  or Bridget on 01449 677422   or Andy on 01449 78297.  For further details please visit the Coronavirus page in the News section.



Useful official sources of guidance and information.

24th Match 2020.  Compiled by Huw Roberts, wickhamskeithpc@hotmail.com.

NHS general public advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

This includes links to sources of more information, including: Public Health England: guidance on social distance and for vulnerable people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people

UK Govt advice: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus, includes:

  • guidance on staying at home and away from others;
  • guidance for household for possible coronavirus infection;
  • guidance for employers, employees and businesses;
  • guidance for schools.

Get help if you an extremely vulnerable person: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable


  • Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.


  • If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.


  • You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.


Mid-Suffolk and Babergh District Council

MSDC main COVID-19 page: https://www.babergh.gov.uk/features/our-covid-19-response/

‘Home, not alone’




You can find further information on social media using #Covid19Suffolk

Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council response and information: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/, including: changes to services; advice for schools, businesses, Suffolk Health and Children’s Centres, and more.

Latest info: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/latest-information/





Heating Installation Grants


In Suffolk there are still a large number of houses that do not have a central heating system with a boiler and radiators. Could you qualify for a grant towards first time central heating, either oil or gas, depending on availability. The funding comes from National Grid and Community Interest Company: Affordable Warmth Solution’s Warm Homes Fund and is available across Suffolk until 2021 or until funding runs out.


Additional Council funding is available to cover up to 100% of the costs so residents could get a free system although landlords are required to contribute.

Residents must own their property or be privately renting (i.e. not a council house or housing association property) and must not have an existing central heating system (a boiler and radiators).  Eligibility criteria apply - For more information see www.greensuffolk.org/whf

Anyone who would like to know more about the scheme please contact the organisers by:

  • Calling the Suffolk Warm Homes Healthy People service on 03456 037 686 (local rate)
  • Completing the online enquiry form at www.greensuffolk.org/seaenquiry or
  • Emailing whhp@eastsuffolk.gov.uk quoting the ‘Warm Homes Fund’. 


















~ V I L L A G E   H A L L   C O M M I T T E E   N E W S  ~


Sadly there will be no door-to-door collections for the Poppy Appeal this year. There are collection boxes in some supermarkets. Rosie Bassett at Blacksmiths Cottage, The Street has kindly offered to pass donations to the District organiser if you wish to drop into her postbox.

STAR HUNT – place a decorated or lit star in your window or garden to

 join the village trail in December

Nov. 29 - Dec. 5, 2020

There are no events.

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