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Recorder's Report 2008

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Hadstock had a quieter year, to draw breath after the big money-raising efforts of the last five years.
On 6 January, the Bishop of Colchester joined us for a Service of Thanksgiving for the completion of £107,000 of repairs to our old Church.  Blessing and re-dedicating the building, Bishop Christopher also blessed and dedicated the aumbry and lamp designed and given by Donald Stewart in memory of his wife Beryl, and the Communion Set given by Mrs Sue Riches. 
Jamie Spencer and Ed Patient took over the editing and production of the Parish Magazine. Janey Devlin retired after many years work on the magazine. The new format has proved popular.
The Parish Council produced the Parish Plan after much consultation with villagers. A Parish Meeting led to a questionnaire circulated to all villagers. This produced an 80% response, which showed people overwhelmingly in favour of limited development mostly through infill with a possible affordable housing scheme. Main concerns were speeding traffic, HGVs, aircraft noise, and poor public transport. Hadstock is generally considered a friendly and supportive community and an attractive place in which to live. The Plan included sections on Planning Guidance to be sent to Uttlesford DC and an Action Plan for future efforts. Thanks were given to Rick Albrow for chairing the Steering Group and producing the Plan.
Robin Betser resigned from the Parish Council and Mrs Kerry Boxall was co-opted to fill the vacancy. There were other resignations during 2008.  The Team Rector, the Rev. Duncan Green, left the Saffron Walden Group of Parishes to take up a post with Olympic Games London 2012, and the Team Vicar in charge of Ashdon and Hadstock, the Rev. Michael Thompson,  also left to take over a group of parishes in Suffolk. The Rev David Tomlinson was appointed Team Rector and was inducted on 21 September.  His wife, Jenny, is also ordained and has been licensed to the Group. We are very grateful to the other Team Vicars and to all the retired clergy in the area who have looked after us for most of the year.  Bishop Christopher of Colchester and David Tomlinson held meetings with Ashdon and Hadstock Church Councils and asked for details of what each parish needed in order to find a new person to take over the two parishes on a House-for-Duty basis. The architect has carried out the next Quinquennial Inspection and somehow we shall have to raise about £66,000 for the next stage of restoration and maintenance.
The annual Village Fete on 14 June was again a great social occasion and also broke all records by raising over £6,500 for the maintenance of the Church and the Village Hall.  

More work has been done on the Recreation Ground by Matt Fish and his team of helpers, to make it an interesting and safe place for children to play. 

The Buffy Bus now visits Hadstock village green every Friday morning and is very popular with the toddlers. Isabel Fish’s Toddler Group on Tuesday afternoons is also popular.
Hamish McIlwrick continues to lead a monthly walk on Sunday mornings.  One new regular walker is 89 years old! 
Three babies were born in Hadstock this year – a very healthy sign for a small village and more are expected next year. Several families with young children have moved in too. 
Unfortunately, the King’s Head pub closed in November and remains empty. A Bring-Your-Own pub was held in December in the Village Hall, with Darts, dominoes and a Quiz. This proved very popular and it is hoped to make it a monthly event on a Friday until, we hope, someone can be found to take over the pub.
The Harvest Lunch after the Festival Service on 5 October was a very successful sell-out. The Linton Scout Group paraded here, with their flags, and the British Legion flag was also paraded, on Remembrance Sunday.  As is now usual, some 230 people crammed into St. Botolph’s on Christmas Eve for the Light of the World Christingle Service. Again Hadstock did not manage to pay all its Quota to the Diocese. It is harder to raise funds for general church purposes than for maintenance of the building.
The Hall Committee is also planning considerable work on the Hall to improve car parking and access, repair the roof of the store and improve the facilities.

Hadstock is looking forward to progress in many ways during 2009.
Pat Croxton-Smith
Hadstock Local History Recorder