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Recorder's Report 2012

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The Parish began the year by ceasing to have a District Church Council, reverting to a Parochial Church Council as four more parishes joined the original five to become the Saffron Walden and Villages Team Ministry. This gives us more control over our own affairs while still having contact with the expertise that other parts of the Team can provide.  We still have the Rev. Wendy Moore as our Team Vicar, a house-for-duty minister, giving two days a week and Sunday duties. The Rev. David Tomlinson continued as Team Rector and also Rural Dean. For the first time this year we had a Pet Service in the Church in May. This was attended by our donkey, Esther (who always leads the Palm Sunday procession), a pet lamb, 8 dogs, 2 caged birds, a case of stick insects, and, luckily, two photographs of cats.  All behaved very well and each received a blessing from the Vicar. Bell-ringers from Saffron Walden are coming occasionally to help our few to ring for services, and it is great to hear our lightweight bells more often. We do get visiting ringers several times a year.
A defibrillator has been installed in the old Telephone Box. The Parish Council purchased our listed Box from BT and Kerry Boxall helped to raise funds for the defibrillator.  Many attended Trevor Smith’s lecture/ demonstration evening course to learn how to work it. Fortunately in 2012 we had no occasion to use it. The Parish Council secured the continuation of the weekly collection of garden waste from April to November, with one winter collection after Christmas for the trees and anything not cut down by the end of November. This is an enormous help for all the keen gardeners in Hadstock. Owing to the small numbers attending, the Toddler Group had to stop meeting in the Village Hall. The Burns Night dinner/dance is becoming a very popular event in the Village Hall. The Village Hall Quiz evening drew a record number of teams for an enjoyable evening, won by the Barnstormers with only 4 points separating the first four teams. The annual Quiz raised enough to get the Village Hall a new dishwasher.

The King’s Head is going from strength to strength and enjoyed a very good write-up in the Cambridge News. David Taylor also helped to arrange a concert in the Church in aid of the Friends of St. Botolph’s: our own  Brian Farley played a selection of songs and tunes from well-known musicals and some classical and jazz music as well. We are trying to persuade people that concerts are not “too highbrow”. We had a great evening’s entertainment as Brian included many reminiscences of his times helping to direct the music at well-known shows.  The pub has regular theme nights, karaoke, folk music and darts matches.  The weekday pensioners’ lunches at £4.95p. are very popular. The Darts team has won several of its matches.

June was a fairly hectic month. We put up the bunting round the Green, on the Pub and on several houses and it stayed up for most of the month. We began on Tuesday, 5th, with a Village Jubilee and Barbecue organised by Sonia Villiers and Robin Betser. The start coincided with the arrival of rain but this did not deter anyone. Harry Villiers and Felix, with Greg Walker, cooked valiantly under a canvas gazebo lent by Gill and Tim Boyden. James Hewlett, Mikey Phipps, James Beaumont  and Teddy Villiers also helped.  Isabel Fish produced a magnificent Jubilee Cake and organised the children’s games.  Isla McLaughlin won the Prize for a portrait of the Queen.  The children rushed round the churchyard to find letters which they then had to make up into a word.  Over 160 people came and thoroughly enjoyed themselves in spite of the rain.  We stood either under the largest umbrellas we could find or crowded into the Village Hall.  Hamish McIlwrick, Chairman of the Parish Council, on behalf of the Council, gave each child a Jubilee Mug. Tea, coffee and soft drinks were served and people brought their own beer or wine. Stella Parker, Laura Corob and Lou Symes-Thompson helped to set up and to clear away afterwards. Several villagers had been up to London to watch the river procession but most watched on television. Oh for the days of Richard Dimbleby when we only heard the commentary, saw nearly everything and the commentator could tell us what was what and who was there.  Richard hardly appeared at all and there were no long spells in a studio with some celebrity while all sorts of more interesting things were happening outside. 

On 8 and 9 June, David and Lucy Brown again hosted Cinema in the Orchard with a showing of “Cabaret” on Friday and “West Side Story” on the Saturday. Marcus Sedgewick and Alice dealt ably with the projection.  It was a bit warmer than in one previous year and luckily kept dry. They raised nearly £200 for the Friends of St. Botolph.
The Annual Fete followed on 16 June and again included the vintage vehicles organised by Adrian Goding, always a very popular feature.  The Hadstock Silver Band played as they have done every year. Rob Mallyon provided swing boats, shooting gallery etc. and there were many stalls and sideshows.  It is a real village effort with almost everyone taking part and we now have quite a following from other villages and Saffron Walden.  Our teas are quite famous now. In spite of rather poor weather, we raised over £5,000 for the Church Building fund and the Village Hall.  As usual, everything was cleared away and all sites left tidy by the evening.  The pub held a schools Disco that night – some people managed to get into their old school outfits!
Iain and Sarah Clark held a concert in the Church in aid of the Ashdon Pre-School “ Forest School ” which our smaller children may attend.  They sang songs from West End Shows and created a memorable evening which raised over £1,000. We hope they will do it again. Rob Wentworth James did a sponsored bicycle ride to Paris in 24 hours and raised over £1,300 for the British Heart Foundation – a great effort!
Hadstock put up the bunting again for the Olympic Games.  James Hewlett trained as a Gamesmaker and had a marvellous time acting as a course marshal for two  days of cycle road racing, and 6 days for the mountain bike events.  He found it a very positive experience, the training was excellent, the crowds fantastic and the atmosphere very relaxed and friendly.  A few people were lucky enough to get tickets for events and reported that the whole atmosphere in London was remarkably friendly – people were even chatting to each other on the Tube!!   The rest of us watched as much as we could on the “box”, either at home or at the pub.  The competitors probably heard the cheers in the Stadium, especially on the Saturday with a barbecue at the King’s Head when Mo was racing!  
The usual autumn events included the Harvest Festival followed by a Bring and Share Lunch; the annual clean of the Church and Churchyard, a gardening session beside the Village Hall. The annual Remembrance Day Poppy Collection raised more than ever and a collection in the pub enabled two extra wreaths to be laid at the War Memorial with those from the British Legion and Linton Scouts; the Band played for the Service as usual, their trumpeter playing the Last Post and Reveille.  A Market and Craft Fair with mulled wine was held in the Village Hall to help with Christmas shopping. The pub has a Christmas Lunch for all who work in Hadstock. The Silver Band gave a Concert in the Church with carols for us all to join in.  The bad weather caused the cancellation of carol singing round the village. Elf Mail (aka the Fish and Smith families) delivered Christmas cards round the Village for us and raised donations of £70 for Premrose (the premature baby unit at the Rosie in Cambridge).   

FDL kindly provided a magnificent Christmas Tree for the Village Green and the Garrod family produced one for the Church.  The year ended with some 50 people in the pub to see in the New Year. 

Patricia Croxton-Smith
Hadstock Local History Recorder
Photos: Robin Betser