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Recorder's Report 2010

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Hadstock has seen more changes this year. The Fete has always been organised rather haphazardly with a Chairman doing most of the co-ordinating, one Treasurer coping with all the money and various other people doing odd jobs, nominally as a committee, with nearly everybody getting to work on the Day. As the Fete now raises between £6,000-8,500 it was thought that something more formal was needed to be responsible for holding and distributing funds. A village meeting was held, a constitution agreed and four Fete Trustees, Tim Boyden, Robin Betser, Matt Fish and Adrian Goding, were elected. They will ask for submissions from those who want funds and be responsible for holding and distributing the proceeds, and holding a balance to pay for such things as refurbishing stalls etc, dealing with insurance.

The pub changed hands yet again. Russell Tomlinson took over, helped by Dee in the Bar for the first part of the year. Provision of food only happened for a few special occasions such as Burns Night, and Russell was having difficulties by the end of the year. It is not easy to run a pub single-handed in a very small village during a recession. Now we are about to have yet another change! Let us hope for something lasting this time.

One new house, Yews Farm Barn, was finished and the family moved in.Chris Gough, his partner and children had been renting High Cottage, while Chris and his friends built the house. It is quite impressive with a big garden on the hill behind. Another house was started on the ground at the entrance to Orchard Pightle.

The Friends of St. Bololph’s organised an excellent concert in February; the Narcissus Duo, Jane Mitchell - flute, and Tanya Houghton - harp, played a programme which included tangos and Scarborough Fair. Bernard Lanskey, Director of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore, arranged another Music Festival in June. On Sunday, 20th June, Felicitas Fuchs – soprano, Aki Sauliere – violin, and Bernard Lanskey – piano, played works by Handel, Bach, Andrew Schulz (a world premiere), and Elgar. On Tuesday, 22nd June, Li Wei Qin – cello, Qian Zhou – violin, William Coleman - viola, with Bernard Lanskey piano, gave a recital of works by Britten, Schumann and Brahms. On Thursday, 24th June, Qian Zhou and William Coleman returned with Daniel Tong – piano and Bernard to play works by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms. The Festival ended on Saturday, 26th June, with stars of the future, students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, performing a very varied programme. It gave great pleasure to hear such youthful talent and the concert was well attended.

The annual Fete was held on Saturday, 19th June. St. Botolph failed us with the weather as it was very cold and rather wet. Even so, nearly all the village turned out and laboured mightily, raising just over £6,000. Congratulations to the organiser, Dr. Wendy Dean, on such a successful Fete for her first attempt. The Trustees split the money raised between the Church Building Fund and the Village Hall with a donation to the Recreation Ground Fund. Combined with other fund-raising efforts, a walk and a barbecue, this enabled the purchase of a new climbing frame and a safety surface.


Every summer we have a visit from four or five of the teams that attend the annual meeting of Morris Dancers in Thaxted. This year we had a particularly lively bunch, who danced beside the Village Green to the delight of villagers and many passing motorists who stopped to watch. To the delight also of our publican as Morris Dancing is thirsty work and the King’s Head is very well patronised!

The Parish Council began negotiations to purchase the red listed Telephone Box as BT said the phone is not used enough to keep it. Discussions are continuing about its future use. The Parish Council and the Hadstock Society are also expecting to take over the care of village pump beside the Green. With the arrival of mains water supply early in the 1950s, it is no longer fit for use but we do not want to get rid of it.

The County Council held another flint-walling course, renovating the churchyard wall. A surprising number of people are keen to learn this ancient skill, which is, of course, a great help to us as we just have to pay for materials used. Two causes of anxiety and a lot of campaigning have been removed: the threatened Linton Wind Farm lost its appeal, much to our relief, and the second runway at Stansted was also turned down, at least for the time being, although the SSE campaign is continuing in case someone tries to resurrect the idea yet again!

Helen Hewlett and a team of volunteers have cleared the ground round the Village Hall and laid it down to grass; there will be a few shrubs and bulbs and a yew hedge has been planted. Matt Fish has made a bench seat so that we can sit and enjoy the view over the fields. Dorothy Keeping donated a seat to go on the Recreation Ground. She always enjoyed watching children play and until her 90th birthday last December, regularly walked to Linton for a bit of shopping and to call in at Linton Zoo to see children interacting with animals. Alas, Dorothy died in August after a short illness. After the tragic death of their baby daughter only a few days old, Matt and Isabel Fish, with donations from friends, gave a seat in Gabriella’s memory put in the extension to the Churchyard. The Parish Council has also put a seat at the Linton end of Len’s Path to help those who want a rest.

In August, Li-Wei Qin and Bernard Lanskey returned to give us another memorable recital in the Church. David and Lucy Brown with Marcus Sedgewick, put on a Cinema in the Orchard for two nights which raised £200 for the Church Building Fund. On one night we enjoyed A Matter of Life and Death and on the second The Italian Job. Both much enjoyed although blankets were needed and the glass of wine went down very well. The Hadstock Silver Band gave a concert in the Church in September, followed by a Barbecue, proceeds going to the Band and to the Church. The Band also played at the Harvest Festival Service, which was followed by a very successful Bring-and-Share Lunch in the Village Hall. Now an annual event, the Band also gave a Christmas Concert in the Hall, which included plenty of carols for everyone to sing. In December, there was a full Church for a concert by children from the Cambridge Suzuki Group, followed by tea. The young performers from 4 years old up displayed a very high standard of musicianship taught by the Suzuki method.

A good team turned out to clean the Church and Churchyard in September. A sycamore tree beside the car park has been felled to give drivers and pedestrians a better view of each other, and two diseased limes and a sycamore on the South side of the Church have been removed. This has let in a lot more light.

Sarah Clark has started a music and drama group for children over 5 years old, on Wednesday afternoons after school, which the children are enjoying and showing remarkable talents! Ruth Hall is continuing the toddler group on Tuesday afternoons but it looks as though the Buffy Bus may not come much longer as too few children are coming to enjoy its remarkable play facilities. More babies were born during the year – a very healthy sign in a small village like ours. Isabel Fish and Lynne Smith arranged a Bring-and-Share Christmas Lunch in the Hall which was a great success and enjoyed by all who went to it.

Rick Albrow and helpers from the Hadstock Society have photographed and recorded all the gravestones in the churchyard and Church. The Society carried out another field walk on Banton. Rosamond Hudson washed all the finds and we are still labelling them so that the ECC Field Archaeology Unit can identify them. We think there are more Saxon potsherds as well as plenty of Roman bits. The Society is planning to continue with the study of Field Names and a possible up-date of the Millennium Book as there have been so many changes in people and in the houses.

December saw a Hadstock Workers Christmas Lunch at the pub. Carol singing round the village was cut short as the snow started with a vengeance that night and the singers adjourned to Hadstock Hall for warming refreshments. The year was rounded off with a well-attended (about 220 people) Christmas Eve Light of the World Service. There was a New Year’s Eve party at the King’s Head.