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MOUNTNESSING

VILLAGE NEWS

SPRING  2014

The Village News is published by The Parish Council in Spring and Autumn each year and distributed to every household in the village.  An abridged version of its contents is contained here.

We have 3 teams in the Brentwood league and our 1st team are in second place in division 1 so are doing quite well though they are quite a few points from 1st place so are unlikely to be promoted to the premier league. The captain Peter Hardiman decided to step down this season after years of sterling service and has ably been replaced by Gordon Gatheral. This has also entailed a new member to be added to the ranks; Robert Kneale, so we welcome him to the club.

Our second team are top of division 2 and also in the final of the knock out cup so are having an exceptional season and they almost certainly will be promoted to division 1 for next season. Len Jupe has unfortunately been side-lined for most of the season due to injury but it gave the opportunity for a player from my team to move up.

Yours truly as captain of our 3rd team reports that we are languishing near the bottom of the league, though to be fair we have not had the services of our senior player Bruno Handel due to injury issues. Our newest member Paul Franklin has settled in well in his 2nd season with us and enjoying an occasional win. This is quite a feat given the experience of most of the players in the leagues, some of whom have 50+ years of playing table tennis. Our best player moved up to the B team as he proved too good for us to hold on to. Congratulations to Roger Wilson for his continued successes in that team where he will gain 1st division experience next time.

Our AGM is on 29th April though it a closed meeting for members only. As usual, we continue to be grateful for the use of the St John’s Hall which is a very suitable venue for us and other teams comment on it being a good place to play table tennis.

Our season finishes at the end of March but we hope to run a closed Brentwood division set of competitions for all levels at Brizes Park some time in April or May as last year we had to cancel. Our committee league is also arranging our usual yearly presentation dinner with a quiz which is an enjoyable occasion for all.

Suzanne Shaw, Mountnessing Club Secretary

Mountnessing Senior Citizen’s Club

The club is delighted to welcome even more members this year, and our meetings are getting more and more fun.

We ended 2013 with a fabulous Christmas lunch at the Ingatestone Community Club and then the children of Mountnessing Primary School came to sing and recite for us. As usual an absolute delightful afternoon, and the most popular event in our calendar.

On 10th April we are holding an Easter Bonnet Parade followed by hot cross buns. A cash prize for the best bonnet and a gift for all participants. Then on 8th May we are having our fish and chips lunch. A cream tea is planned for June/July but date to be confirmed.

New members are always welcome, or just pop in for a visit, you’ll be made most welcome. We meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 2pm in the village hall.

Further details ring Sue 01277 354886

We have been incredibly busy since the last time I wrote for the Village News. Already in the Spring term we have held a ‘Cultural Week’ where the children found out about the different continents. We invited a special visitor into school every day and welcomed Bhangra dancing, curry making, an aboriginal story teller, an African artist and a djembe drum player in to our school. The children had such a wonderful week and worked so well together in mixed age groups. We have lots of photographs on our website for you to view.

Our school council have been very busy too. This year we are supporting Little Havens Hospice and are going to visit the hospice to find out the important work that they do. After this we will be planning some more fundraising activities to add to our current funds for Little Havens.

We are all really looking forward to our Book week on 17th March; we will be dressing up as our favourite book characters and hosting a lot of book related competitions for the children to enter. At Easter we hold our annual Easter egg hunt and bonnet competition, and will be attending an Easter service at St Giles church.

As a school we are currently looking at how we can improve our library building, which has seen better days. We are hoping to apply for some grant funding to get a swanky new building that can be used by the community and the school. We would appreciate any letters from community members to support our application saying how you could use the new building. If you can help us with this project, please get in touch by emailing admin@mountnessing.essex.sch.uk

We have some upcoming events that you may like to be part of, these include:

  • Story hour (come and read to the children) 17th March
  • Easter service – 4th April at 1.30 St Giles Church

You can read our newsletter on our website http://www.mountnessing-primary.org.uk/ and find out what we get up to weekly.

Holly Obank, Headteacher

In complete contrast to last year’s icy winter, activity during this winter has been constrained by the floods, with many weekend club runs curtailed or diverted due to the flooding or high winds. However, the indoor training at the village hall has been going well however, with 10-12 members turning up at the village hall each Wednesday evening for the organised coaching and training session. However, now that the spring is on the horizon, the club’s 2014 events begin soon, and so these sessions will cease in mid April. For details of the remaining sessions, and the 2014 racing programme, please visit http://questronics.org.uk/Shaftesbury/index.html or from myself at r.parrotte@btinternet.com, or by phone on 01245 421088.

Club weekend racing events begin on Saturday the 15th March, at the Club’s bungalow at Ugley near Stansted Mountfitchet, with the Shaftesbury Spring audex rides over 50, 100, 150 & 200km, and then a 25 mile time trial on the Sunday morning. The weekend programme continues with a program of additional events based from there, and also around Blackmore and the Hanningfields.

For mid-week events, the popular 10 mile mid-week time trials based at the Mountnessing village hall begin on Wednesday 16th April, with the first rider starting at 7:00pm. There are 20 of these events, held every Wednesday evening, with start times based on sunset times throughout the summer, so usually starting around 7.15-7.30pm. Around 40 club and non-club riders usually take part.

The Club hopes to see you out on your bikes this year, and hopefully some of you at some of these events.

Thanks and best regards

Richard Parrotte, General Secretary

As many of you are aware from the last edition of the newsletter, Reverend Jean had to retire on grounds of ill health at the end of September. Jean achieved a great deal in her four years with us, particularly in building up the good relationship that now exists between the church and the school and welcoming young families into the church. We wish her a long, healthy and happy retirement.

Jean’s departure means that we are now in a period of “interregnum” – literally meaning ‘between two reigns or incumbencies’. This is normal, and gives the congregation an opportunity to reflect on the kind of person we want to lead us and our sister churches in Buttsbury and Margaretting. A joint advert has now been issued for a Priest in Charge to come to serve all three churches on the basis of working every Sunday plus two days a week. We hope to hold interviews in the middle of the year and make an appointment within a few months.

Since the beginning of October, St Giles’ has welcomed a number of different locum vicars, including some familiar faces, to lead our worship, so the services continue as usual. Over Christmas there was a well-supported Crib Service, and the Nine Lessons and Carols at the end of December were traditional – and lovely! We are now entering the period of Lent, when Jesus went into the desert and was tempted by Satan several times. This is a period of reflection and we try to give up something to emulate Christ’s fasting for 40 days and nights.   After Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, Easter is a festive occasion when we celebrate His resurrection, with an emphasis on the dawn of a new life. We give thanks for the joys that Spring brings us, and for the fact that we have come through the first six months of the interregnum, growing in faith and strength.

Details of Easter Services:

Palm Sunday (13th April) – 9.30 – Holy Communion Service

Good Friday (18th April) – 2.00 pm – Reflection and meditation

Easter Sunday (20th April) – 9.30 Holy Communion Service

Frances Pennell-Buck, Church Warden

St Giles’ Church Flower Arrangers Group

Flowers for Easter and Throughout the Year

As has been the custom for several years now, we wish to invite anyone, or family, to make a donation towards flowers for Easter and throughout the year, or to buy an Easter Lily in memory of a loved one. All names and any message are recorded in a special book set aside for this purpose. If you would like to make a donation please send or give it to Gill, 128 Norsey Road, Billericay (tel. 653959) by Friday, 11th April, 2014. Please make cheques payable to Mountnessing P.C.C.

St Giles’ Church Social and Fundraising Activities

Last September we shared a Harvest Supper with the parishioners of St Margaret’s Margaretting and St. Mary’s Buttsbury at Margaretting Village Hall. The three member churches of the Benefice rotate hosting this event each year and it is a good opportunity for the three congregations to meet up socially.

The Autumn Fayre was again very well attended and enjoyed by the many visitors. We were fortunate to have some excellent raffle prizes, thanks to the generosity of local shops and businesses. The lunches of’ ‘Homemade Soup and Rolls ‘were, as usual, much appreciated.

Just before Christmas we took over a section of the George and Dragon for our final event of the year and shared a very pleasant meal together.

At the moment our church organ has been removed from the church and is undergoing extensive restoration work. This is a very expensive process and the church has been ‘saving’ for this over a long period of time. Recently the fund has been greatly enhanced by a series of grants, largely obtained through the hard work of Julia Rose. We are very grateful to her and look forward to our organ being reinstated.

Future events planned are a Charity Auction at Mountnessing Village Hall on March 29th, a Coffee and Crafts Morning on Thursday 15th May at Chris Marinos’ House and by popular request another ‘Posh Tea’ at St. John’s Hall on Wednesday 11th June. Details of these events will be advertised nearer the time.

Rita Harries 01277 352237

Housing Needs Survey

Inside this issue you will find a Housing Needs Survey that the Parish Council is carrying out. It is important for us to understand the type and tenure of properties that our residents and their families might need in the coming years and unless we know what is needed we cannot make representations to ensure that any developments of new housing address the requirements of our residents first.

Please take the time to fill the form in and return it to us as directed as we need to understand the community housing needs of the future. This could be affordable homes for young adults, smaller one bedroomed properties for those downsizing and bigger homes for those needing more accommodation.

Could you please return the form by the 20th April.

George Read

I sadly have to report the passing of George Read, our longest standing Parish Councillor. George joined the Parish Council in 1995 and he was part of a team from the Parish and the Church that rescued St. John’s church hall, the tin church as it is known. The funds were raised and the building was refurbished and brought into use for hiring to small community groups and it has been very successful and well used. As well as being a parish councillor George stayed on and served as treasurer for St. Johns up to about a year ago. He also was a school Governor for the Village School for a period. George always took a keen interest in planning issues considered by the Parish and always gave fair and constructive comments on each application.

Speaking to former Chairman, Richard Allen, David Gottesman and David Fisher they all commended George for his loyal service to the parish. It is testament to George that despite not being very well he attended his last Parish Council meeting shortly before he passed away. All of us on the Parish Council would like to extend our sincere condolences to Diane and the family.

Winter Weather and Storm Damage

The stormy weather we have had this winter has caused damage throughout the parish to trees, fences and properties. Sadly in the big storm last year we lost two of the tall pine trees on the recreation ground which snapped off about 12 foot off the ground. Our contractors had to use heavy lifting gear to remove the remains which took a day and a half. More recently we had a willow tree blow over in Roman Road close to the Plough which took out the power line and a number of homes were left without electricity for eight hours.

The playing fields have been saturated by the excessive rain we have had and although we had planned to have some drainage works done in the autumn the ground became too wet too quickly to do this. We will now have to reconsider how we will take this project forward and we might have to wait until next autumn now.

A number of community volunteers took in salt bags to use in case we had snow and ice under the Essex County Council Salt Bag Scheme. Due to the warmer, but wetter winter there has been no need to us the salt that has been distributed so we do not intend to re-stock for next winter.

Children’s Play Area and Recreation Ground

The final phase of our playground improvements has been carried out now. We have had a new set of toddler swings installed with safety matting under and the existing swings are now both for older children and have new seats, chains and fixings. The roundabout was taken up and had all new bolts fitted where necessary. The centre spindle was dug out of the ground and reset 10cm lower so that we now comply with Health and Safety recommendations on ground clearance. We have also had safety matting installed around the static play engine and as well as being safer it will hopefully keep the little ones out of the mud in the winter. We were again fortunate to secure grant funding and about eighty percent of the cost of this work was covered by a grant from the Essex County Council Community Initiatives fund. Many thanks to ECC.

Following last summer’s incursion we have had defence work carried out on the boundary and access points to the recreation ground. Steel posts have been set up around the perimeter of the field behind the existing wooden knee fences. A new barrier gate has also been installed on the track up to the Windmill. Whilst we cannot prevent a determined assault using power cutters, we hope that this new security will be sufficient to deter further opportunist trespass.

New Benches Church Road Green

The existing benches were giving us some concerns as the metal frames were corroded and seen a potential risk. Our Borough Councillors have special funding called Ward Budgets to help with local community projects and we were grateful to be given £1000 towards the replacement of these benches and the static play engine safety matting mentioned above. The new benches have now been installed and these are made from recycled plastic which means they should give years of maintenance free service. We would like to thank our Borough Councillors for allocating the funding to us.

Bus Shelter Review

We were disappointed by the response to our bus shelter review as we had only one letter from a resident. We have carried out a condition survey and agreed to allocate funding to carry out a repairs and maintenance programme on all the existing shelters. The only exception is the shelter by Roman Close where we are seeking funding from Essex County Council to replace and reposition the existing structure for a shelter that is better suited to the site. We are also looking at what can be done to get a shelter for the stop on the Brentwood bound side of the road by The Plough.

Potholes

The wet weather has caused many new potholes to develop in our local roads. It would be most helpful if residents could report potholes that are of concern to them. It is a very straightforward process entering an online report on the Essex CC website. See http://www.essexhighways.org/Report-a-highways-problem.aspx You can upload a picture if you are able as this helps in deciding priority. They can also be reported by telephone on 0845 6037631.

New Councillors Required

We are now carrying two vacancies for Parish Councillors and we would like to hear from those interested in serving the community. It is important to be an internet user as most of our business is done using e-mail and we try to operate with minimal use of paper. Please contact the Parish Clerk if you are interested.

Lost and Found

A silver plated man’s bracelet was handed in to us and we would like to get it back to its owner. It has initials engraved on it and if you think it might be yours please contact the Parish Clerk on 352237.

Karl Afteni, Chairman, Mountnessing Parish Council

The group continues to meet twice a month in St John’s Hall. Usually we continue working on our own choice of project but from time to time one of the members arranges to teach a workshop in which all members tackle a design or technique new to them.

This year we shall be taking part in the Brentwood Arts Council Festival and on Monday 7 July we shall hold an Open Meeting with a small exhibition to which all are welcome.

Mountnessing Garden Club

During the Summer several visits were made to members’ gardens in Ingatestone, Wyatts Green and Padhams Green, and as well as admiring their hosts’ gardens, members enjoyed friendly social get-togethers, which also helped to raise a substantial amount for Club funds.

The evening meetings recommenced in September with talks on ‘Autumn Plants’, the pleasures of gardening in ‘Soil, Sweat and Tears’ and ‘The Flower Arrangers’ Garden’. The Annual General Meeting was held in December, when the Chairman and Treasurer gave their Reports, which showed the Club’s membership and finances to be in good order, and all agreed that 2013 had been a good and successful year. After the formal business, a buffet supper was held, with contributions from all the members and a musical interlude with carols.

2014 began with illustrated talks on Hyde Hall Through the Seasons, the Mountnessing Windmill and Beautiful Gardens to Visit. Further talks will be given as follows:

7th  April                  NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME AND THE OPEN GARDENS IN ESSEX

12th May                 SEASONS OF A WOODLAND

2ndJune                  SUMMER BASKETS AND CONTAINERS

1st September         ENGLISH LADY GARDENS

6th  October             HOT WINTER POTS

3rd November          GARDENS OF THE ITALIAN LAKES

1st December           ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Several members have again kindly offered invitations to the Club to meet in their homes and gardens during the Summer months, and these occasions are very enjoyable, with refreshments, a raffle, and Bring and Buy items in aid of Club funds.

The Club meets in Mountnessing Village Hall on (usually) the first Monday in the month, at 7.30pm for 8pm. Visitors are always made welcome to our friendly meetings.

Eileen Roddick

Brentwood Community Transport continues to provide transport for the residents of Brentwood who have difficulty accessing public transport due to disability, illness or geographical isolation. People are encouraged to live independently and our services can assist in this whilst at the same time helping to achieve social inclusion for all.

We run a social car scheme where volunteer drivers drive their own cars taking residents of Brentwood to a variety of activities including shopping, to church, hair dressers, doctors, clubs and to visit friends. Annual membership is £10 and the journey cost is 50p per mile minimum charge £3. We also have our accessible minibuses which transport people who are unable to access a car due to age or disability. These buses are also available to non for profit organizations at the cost of £20 per year membership and £1.10 per mile minimum charge £17.50

We are always looking for ways to improve and expand our services. If anyone has any spare time and would like to volunteer to drive for Brentwood Community Transport either the minibus, for which we will give full training, or their own vehicle come and talk to us. If you feel there are any transport needs that are not covered please contact us and we will be happy to investigate.

Please see above our charges have increased and we have all moved in the past couple of years.

Tina Tickner, Chief Executive Officer Brentwood Community Transport, Pepperell House 44 High Street Brentwood telephone 01277 228080

Mountnessing Tennis Club

Following a successful 2013 summer season, Mountnessing Tennis Club is preparing for an exciting and eventful 2014.

Again we are looking forward to an accomplished summer season of competition having entered our adult doubles teams into the

 

 

 

Brentwood, Chelmsford and Essex leagues as well as our Mens team in the Aegon Division.

As for the Club’s Junior teams, our Head Coach Ash Baker andcoaching team are working hard to build on the triumphant summer of last year during which they achieved great results in the Halstead & District Leagues, narrowly missing coming first by 4 points and our under 14 boys winning the Chelmsford League! This summer our juniors will be entering three teams in the Halstead & District League which will include our under 8’s Mini Red team who will be making their debut appearance. Additionally the juniors will again be entering two teams in the Chelmsford league giving our under 14 boys the opportunity to defend their title. The under 14’s team will also be entering in the Aegon Division. Best of luck to all!

For the summer we have arranged various Club events which will be held between April and September, including the following key dates:

The Prince of Wales Tournament*           Sunday 25th May

The Open Tournament                             Sunday 29th June

The Club Tournament Finals Day            Sunday 13th July

Open Day for the Club                              Saturday 19th July

The Baker Challenge                                Friday to Sunday (19th, 20th, 21st) September

The Veterans Tournament Finals Day     Sunday 28th September

All events are fun social occasions with the Club hosting a BBQ and drinks, and hopefully we will be as lucky with the weather as we were last year! Note in particular our Open Day which we hold annually to encourage new adult and junior members to the Club. This year the event will be held on Saturday 19th July to which all of the local community is welcome to join us and try out our tennis facilities, meet the coaching team and other members. We hope to see many of you there.

We look forward to updating you on the club’s progress during the summer season.

History of Mountnessing

Every year the Parish Council lays a wreath on the War Memorial at St Giles on Remembrance Sunday and I have often wondered about the stories of the names of those who died in service to the country. Strangely I had a letter sent to me from a former resident, Bert Anderson, who told me the story of Sergeant Ronald Sitch RAF which led me into finding out more. Bert had been in correspondence with a resident in a village near Antwerp called Retie where Ronald Sitch is buried in a war grave. Every year the village lays a wreath on his grave on All Saints Day, the 1st November, to acknowledge his memory.

Ronald Sitch was born onJanuary 31, 1922The closest known relative is/wasa cousin, EdwardManning(his mother and Ronald’s mother were sisters).Ofthe other family members a brother died in a traffic accident (before the war), his mentally disabled sister died in an institution, his father (a plumber in Mountnessing) died well before the war,and his mother and another sister are both long deceased. Ronald lived in White Cottage, Padhams Green and was known to have played cricket for Mountnessing. He joined the RAF on July 4, 1941 and volunteered for aircrew.

Ronald Sitch was the wireless operator on a 51 Squadron, Handley Page Halifax bomber based at Snaith in Yorkshire. His aircraft, JN920, was part of a large 569 bomber force that took off on the 22nd October 1943 on a mission to attack Kassel in mid Germany which had the Fieseler aircraft plant and the Hendchel motor works that made Tiger tanks.

The Halifax bomber, introduced in 1941, had a crew of seven and carried a maximum bomb load of 14,500lb. The flight took off at around 6pm and by the time all aircraft were in flight and assembled darkness would be closing in. The German defence systems were getting better by this time and they had radar detecting the incoming bombers and were able to direct Flak gunfire and guide night fighters to their targets. A top secret counter measure was deployed for the first time called Corona and this had German speaking RAF radio operators who were sending counter commands to German night fighters to cause confusion and divert them from their targets.

It appears that JN920 did not make it as at 360 miles into the 470 miles to the target the aircraft was hit by either Flak or a night fighter and was on fire circling between Retie and Kasterlee near Antwerp. It is unclear why they did not bail out but with their bomber in flames and carrying a mixture of high explosive bombs, incendiary stick bombs and fuel. Witnesses state that the stricken aircraft was appearing to try to clear the inhabited areas. We can only assume that Sgt Hall, the pilot, accepted his and his crew’s fate and was trying to find an unpopulated area to crash. Locals recall the crash being a huge explosion and the next day German troops sealed the area and collected the human remains which were initially buried at Fort 3 Borsbeek, near Antwerp. In post war years four graves have been identified and moved to Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp. For some reason Sgt Sitch lies at Retie Communal Cemetery.

In 1998, the crash site was excavated by the East Surrey Aviation Group (from Reigate, Surrey), which was the first time they had carried out an excavation project on the Continent. The group has a lot of experience with this type of operation and working in collaboration with Retie and Kasterlee historic groups they dug out a number of aircraft pieces from the crash site. A permanent memorial to the crew has been erected on the reinstated dig. The artefacts and research can be seen at the Wings Museum, Unit 1, Bucklands Farm, Brantridge Lane, Near Balcombe, West Sussex. RH17 6JT.

This in many ways is a sad story of a young local lad going to war but I feel it is fitting tribute to remember him in these pages and it is a wonderful gesture by the people of Retie that ensure Ronald Sitch is remembered each year.

Karl Afteni

Memories of Mountnessing School

I was born in WrittlePark in September 1942, according to my mother I was born in the Ballroom, as WrittlePark had been turned into a MaternityHospital during the war. My father was based in Kidderminster in the Royal Army Pay Corp. The family home was a bungalow 215 Chelmsford Road Shenfield Essex, but I went to school in Mountnessing.

I was a pupil at the old Victorian Mountnessing C of E School from Easter 1947 when I entered the infants. A small village school with under 100 pupils divided into three Sections: Infants led by Miss Jones, juniors by Mr. Davis and seniors by Miss Harris. The school was one building divided into three sections by wooden doors which could be opened out when something affected the whole school. In the hall across the playground (now Upson Mobility) we had our School dinners, when I was a senior I was in charge of dishing out the potatoes, the dinners arrived cooked in large metal containers.

The hall was utilised for school plays like The Nativity, the highlight of the year, and events like spelling bees and beetle drives for the juniors and seniors. The hall was the meeting venue when the whole school went on the Sunday school outing. A Eastern National Double Decker bus was hired, children assembled in the hall, counted and used the toilets before boarding the bus; heavily laden with packed lunches, bottles of Tizer or Lemonade and bucket and spades etc. A hoard of excited restless children were chaperoned on the bus by Sunday school teachers and dinner ladies and a few mothers helped out. The one I remember most was going to Burnham on Crouch and going on the ghost train and I also managed to get locked in hall before leaving as I was the last one to use the girl’s toilet. Miss Ruggles the dinner lady realised I was not on the bus and opened the hall door again and found me. I nearly missed the outing all together.

I was 4 ½ when I started school; the thing I remember most about being an infant was the bottles of milk to drink at break and laying on a mat in the afternoon for a sleep. I was never a good sleeper but the infants had a rest in the afternoon for the two years I was there. I then progressed into the Juniors here learning began in earnest, Mr. Davis was fearsome and although bright I was a chatterbox, he never hit anyone, but had a habit of banging a very large ruler on your desk if you began to chatter instead of working. I used to jump a mile, but it was an effective way to maintain order. When I was nine I then went into the seniors under Miss Harris, she was a Scot and used to enthral me with tales of her journey to Scotland for her holidays.She described a train with two steam engines, one at the front and one at the back to ensure the train got up all the hills. I always imagined the great steaming monster engines pushing and puffing the train along taking her to her destination. The other job I had was making her a cup of tea in the morning and afternoon when I was older, I was always terrified I would break the delicate china cup and saucer when I washed up afterwards.

The major event in the latter years was the death of King George VI, on that cold February day in 1952 The doors were open between the classes, and the whole school was bought together sat down and we listened to the 1 o’clock news on the school wireless, which for some reason was kept in a cupboard. We listened to Big Ben, then the announcer spoke the words telling the whole nation the king had died in his sleep at Sandringham. In the small school in rural Essex, everything was silent as this sad event was told. After the broadcast ended, the wireless was switched off and we all bowed our heads as Miss Harris asked us to pray for the Queen and the family. 1953 soon came; England was to have a new Queen Elizabeth, to be crowned in June and my father acquired a television for the event. It was to be my last year at Mountnessing. To celebrate the Coronation my friends and I made a small garden on spare land beside the girl’s school toilets, a block of four individual toilets with wooden seats and the old pull handle cisterns. It was very patriotic, we cut turf and made a big triangle dug the ground and filled it with red, white and blue bedding plants. Where I got the plants from I do not know, perhaps Miss Harris bought them, and I remember we had a party in the school hall and all the children received a Coronation Mug.

My last sports day at Mountnessing C of E School was a beautiful sunny day in July, the Juniors and Seniors took part in the school sports, infants only came to watch. The local farmer had mown the field which was used for sports day. In the school hall we changed into kit, girls navy blue knickers and white vests, boys white vests and navy shorts. There were four houses, Romans (Red) Grecians (Yellow) Saxons (Blue) Normans(Green). Each child had a band to put on, I was a Grecian so mine was yellow. We all filed out of the hall and accompanied by Mr. Davis and Miss Harris we crossed the playground and walked up the path leading up to the field. The hedges that lined the path were honeysuckle, dog roses and fruiting currant bushes and many types of wild flowers growing along the footpath.

Before lunch that day a few of the older pupils had been allowed to go up to the freshly mown field and pick flowers and cut the honeysuckle and dog roses and make our squares for each house to sit in. The squares were edged with fragrant bell shaped honeysuckle, soft pink dog roses, the deep red of fruiting currant branches and all manner of wild flowers. I remember the heady aromatic flower scents and smell of freshly mown grass as we all sat chatting waiting for the races to begin. The sun shone on the efforts of everyone, the teachers and caretaker controlling the races and the excited children, the dinner ladies providing orange squash for the children after the races. There were shouts from the boys as a winner passed the line of the sack race or the egg and spoon, laughing at the unfortunates who dropped their egg or fell over in the sack. Then I had my moments of glory, I could run fast, I managed to win three races and then I was in the winning girls relay team. Soon the end of the afternoon was in sight and now was the time for the prize giving. The vicar and his wife had come to give out the prizes, not cups, but real money 1st prize 3d 2nd prize 2d 3rd prize 1d. Each of the lucky children came up to the trestle table covered by a sparkling white cloth to receive the prizes and thank the vicar. I went up four times for my bronze 3d piece. I had won a whole shilling I was rich in monetary terms. The last sports day ended in triumph for me and Iwas so proud when I went home with my shilling and told my mother and father. I left school in the July 1953 and moved on to a new school in Brentwood in September 1953.

I know now, looking back, that what I took away from that sports day was not only my shilling but memories of kinder way of life, a small church school where you were taught caring; there was an epileptic child, itinerant workers children who were a little rougher than the village children, but still attended the school living in a cottages beside the school during harvest time, discipline and respect for the adults, responsibility for the younger children and for your own actions, and to use your talents to help others and develop yourself as well as Reading Writing and Arithmetic. Looking back I realise how lucky I was to attend the school, I know the Mountnessing C of E school still stands because when I was sixty I went back to the village, I hoped the values had survived all the years since 1953.

I remember that during the period I was at school, the village policeman was called PC Snow and the other authority figure was the school Inspector Mr. Frost, when he paid a visit the whole school was on its best behaviour. The Vicar used to call once a week and took prayers and junior and seniors had to learn the weekly collect, my father always made sure I was word perfect in case I was asked to say the collect. I used to hate having to stand up in front of the school if I was chosen. I also joined the Brownies while attending school and that was good fun. I was in the Pixies and we met in the school hall.

The other fearsome person was the Nit nurse, I used to have pig tails at school and because the nurse advised my mother she felt long hair would be a problem I had my hair cut shorter. A couple more items I remember was the Conservative Fete in the field in front of the Windmill and they had a fancy dress competition and I won a prize because I was dressed as the Queen of Hearts, my mother had help me make a dress and a crown and I had a tray of jam tarts she had baked.

I hope you enjoyed reading my memories of Mountnessing School.

Olwen O’Dowd (Olwen Edwards a pupil from 1947-1953)

My colleague and I frequently attend house burglaries in the Brentwood and Epping Districts. In the majority of cases the objective of the burglars is to steal cash or jewellery. On every occasion the main bedroom is ransacked because burglars know that women usually leave their jewellery on their dressing tables. Even if they have had the foresight to hide it they normally do so in the main bedroom. Invariably the thief is successful in stealing the jewellery because he is fully aware of this practice

Losing a valuable piece of jewellery is one thing but losing an item that has sentimental significance is much more distressing when you realise you probably won’t see it again.

We appreciate that not everyone can afford to install a safe in their house but there are two measures that everyone can take at little or no cost.

Firstly, DON’T HIDE YOUR JEWELLERY IN THE BEDROOM. The intruder will find it. Think of a location where they are unlikely to look and split it up so that, if they find one piece, they may not get it all. If you need further inspiration call us.

Secondly, photograph your jewellery next to a ruler. Keep a copy of the photographs yourself and give another copy to a relative or friend. This will help the Police to search for your jewellery and they may come in useful if your insurance company decides to dispute your loss.

Please do not leave Windows / Doors /Garages open when you go out even for just 5 minutes.
Please put your alarms on when you go out.

NEXT Beat Surgery:
Date: 7th April 2014 14:00 – 15:00
Where: Ingatestone Library
High Street
Ingatestone
Come and have an chat with an officer from North Local Policing Team for crime prevention advice, reporting crime, crime information, or anything you wish to discuss with an officer .

PCSO 74787 Peter Kearney
Police Community Support Officer
Beat Manager Ingatestone D321E
Brentwood Neighbourhood Policing Team (Western Division)
Brentwood Police Station, 4 London Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4QJ
North NSO Mobile: 07896 871008
Non Emergency: 101
Direct Dial . 01277 262212
Internal Ext: 320240
Fax: 01277 260047
Email: peter.kearney@essex.pnn.police.uk

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