The Black Death – TV series featuring Walsham le Willows

The historian, Lucy Worsley and a BBC film crew visited Walsham in the summer of 2021 to film part of her new series ‘Lucy Worsley Investigates’.

One of the episodes highlights the impact and outcomes of the Black Death in 1348 on people and communities.

Part of this episode focuses on Walsham le Willows because it provides particularly good judicial records (Manorial Court Rolls) surviving from that time, which give insight into this period of history. Between six and seven hundred people died of the plague in Walsham, roughly half of the population, decimating the community as happened across the country and continent. This episode and the rest of the series are available to view on iPlayer.

Festival of Suffolk Torch Relay coming to Walsham 24/05/2022

To herald the start of The Festival and the celebrations to mark HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a symbolic torch is travelling through communities in Suffolk carried by local heroes.

The torch relay started on 13th may 2022 in Brandon then passes through 250 towns and villages, a distance of over 550 miles before reaching its final destination arriving at the Suffolk Show in Ipswich on Wednesday 1st June.

There is a live GPS tracker of the route which will be fun to follow the torch on its journey.  Click here to follow:

It comes through Walsham tomorrow Tuesday 24th May.

View the TorchTracker & Download the Route Card

#FestOfSuffolk #FoSTorchRelay

Community Council AGM – 2022

All village residents are invited to attend the
Annual General Meeting

The Walsham le Willows Community Council (charity number 278321)
Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows (charity number 304950)
Date: Wednesday 29th June 2022
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows
I.Bartholomew – Honorary Treasurer – 1st June 2021

Walsham to be part of the Queen’s Green Canopy

The Wild Wood group are excited to share the news that planning and planting the second phase of the Wild Wood will begin in 2022. The Steering group are extremely grateful to Geoffrey Pollard who offered the tenancy of a 2 acre parcel of land adjacent to the current wood in response to the Wild Wood appeal.

This will allow the Wild Wood group to continue their work of promoting a wider variety of plant species and wildlife in the village. Hugh Reeve, the chair of the Old Town Trust (the charitable owner of the land), confirmed that after harvest this autumn the lease would be granted.

The Wild Wood is a valued village asset which many people used for walking, sitting as well as family and group events and activities. On April 16th over 100 people visited the Wild Wood for easter egg hunting, coffee and hot cross buns, demonstrating the benefit to the whole village of this valuable green space which is home to a wide variety of plants and trees that encourage bird and insect life.

Throughout the summer and particularly during the village Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Wild Wood steering group plan to involve as many members of the community as possible in the project through the sharing of ideas for the space and practical involvement. The initial outline plan is to create a link with the allotments by creating an area of edible wild planting; to continue the church ride; to create a fritillary and wild flower meadow and to plant wooded areas of the most successful species from the original planting to connect the two areas.

The group look forward to working with the village to develop further green space and
are delighted that they are able to support the charitable aims of the Old Town Trust which include protecting the environment, conservation and heritage.

Annual Meeting of the Parish

Organised by the Parish Council this will take place on Saturday May 21st in the Memorial Hall between 1 and 4pm.

Refreshments will be provided by the Parish Council.

This provides an opportunity for residents in the village to meet and make contact with some of the groups and organisations in the village. Do please come along to meet your Parish Councillors and hopefully your District and County Councillors who may also be dropping in. If you have just moved into the village do come along and say hello.

The following groups have indicated that they will be attending this year (hopefully there will be some more): St Mary’s Church, Community Council and Coffee Shop, Community Lunch, Gardens Weekend Committee, History Group, Horticultural Show, Old Town Trust (village charity), Royal British Legion, Sports Club, Wild Wood, Women’s Institute. The Parish Council will hopefully have more news on the development of the Play Area.

Spring Bulbs in St Mary’s Churchyard

Don’t they look good!

Thanks to Garden Weekend Committee for the suggestion and the work done to pnat the bulbs purchased byt eh Parish Council in autumn of 2022.

The suggestion was also to revive the unpruned rose bushes. It transpires that most of these may now need to be replaced for some summer colour.

The Street – Road Closure 11th – 22nd April

red triangle roadworks sign with work person in centre

Highways are planning to carry out footway improvements along The Street, Walsham le Willows between 11 and 22 April 2022. The road will be closed each day to ensure that works can be safely carried out.

Residents will have both vehicular and pedestrian access to their homes and premises but may need to ask the highways operational team for specific access or to move barriers if works are taking place right outside their house, but this should be made available without undue delay and as practical.

Access to the Memorial Hall will be possible although the understanding of road users will be greatly appreciated by highways as they will have equipment and vehicles on the carriageway throughout, therefore that access at any given time may be via a different route into the village depending on the location of the team.

Traffic will be diverted via Summer Road, A143, B1113, Walsham Road, Finningham Road and vice versa.

Latest updates on roadworks can be found at”Temporary road closures for Suffolk Highways roadworks” and on One.Network website.

Extra days are always scheduled to allow for bad weather or other delays beyond the control of Highways. If major changes to work dates are needed, this will be published on the site.

Hosting Ukrainian Guests

There are currently 3 families in Walsham that are about to host Ukrainian guests.

We have put our names forward via the Royal Air Squadron (RAS) initiative to host displaced Ukrainians.  The RAS are well connected in Ukraine and are trying to fill the gap between UK nationals who are looking to help but who don’t have any specific Ukrainian contacts. The RAS have built up a database of displaced Ukrainians currently in Poland. They have also set up a team of 10 British-Ukrainian professionals in London to help manage the immigration process. The local placement is being coordinated from Great Barton.

We are now expecting to make contact with potential guests in the next week or so and would love to hear from anyone who might be considering hosting Ukrainian guests or who would be interested in helping out in any way.

Richard Winch
07931 709486 |

New Stage for Memorial Hall

The Memorial Hall now has a new stage fitting for the venue. The purchase was funded by the Parish Council from Community Infrastructure Levy grant receipts following a successful bid by the trustees of the Memorial Hall.

Eastern Angles – Booming Voices

Booming Voices aims to capture the magic of the Broads and explore its possible future. From a range of interviews with people living on this iconic landscape, the play fuses real voices, music and science to tell a new, unheard story of the Broads.

In the height of the pandemic, Jen, a young student, is shielding in an isolated cottage on the edge of a watery haven, housesitting for a Professor in the US who is investigating the impact of climate change. Together they explore the iconic wildlife and nature of the Broads, showing us just how vulnerable this seemingly timeless landscape is.

With the songs of acclaimed folk musician Jimmy Alridge, and insights from figures who helped discover the true nature of this wetland paradise (comparable to Ibiza, sang David Bowie), Booming Voices promises to be an evening that both prepares us for the future and gives us hope.

All ticket sales for this event are through EA’s box office | 01473 211 498

Play Area – Notification of Tender

The Parish Council have published a noticifation for tender for the supply and installation of new play equipment. The intended completion date is 31st July 2022.

The full tender notification can be found on the Contracts Finder Website

Completed tenders to be returned BY POST, envelope marked confidential, addressed to the Clerk. Decision on award of contract anticipated to be by 20th April but no later than 11th May 2022.


Social Broadband for Low Income Families

As broadband and mobile prices rise, social tariffs can help people stay connected

Broadband and mobile phone prices are increasing for both in-contract and out-of-contract customers in April. Because these increases are tied to inflation, which is currently at a record high, prices are going to increase by as much as 11.7% this year.

Tariffs cost as little as £15 per month for a fibre broadband connection, and sometimes include a call plan with inclusive calls too. BT, Virgin Media, Hyperoptic, KCOM (in Hull), Community Fibre and G.Network (in London) all offer social broadband tariffs that are available to people on low incomes in receipt of certain benefits.

Choose, a free service, has a full guide to social broadband tariffs that’s kept regularly updated to ensure people have access to the most up to date information.

Local outbreak of bird flu at the Gressingham Duck operation

Trading Standards have pubslished a message as follows: If your birds show any sign of disease, you must report your suspicions to Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) immediately by telephoning 03000 200 301.

Bird flu is a ‘notifiable’ disease. If you own chickens, ducks, geese or any other captive birds we urge you to register them with APHA so that you can be contacted if there is an outbreak near to you.

Details of the national situation and the overlapping control zones in Mid Suffolk

Gardens Weekend 2022 to go ahead


At the latest planning meeting of the Gardens Weekend Committee it was decided that the after cancellations of the 2020 and 2021 events due to Covid restrictions, the 2022 will go ahead.

With such a big event, drawing in so many people from afar, the planning for the next event starts almost immediatley the current event has finished, not least to debreif to make sure than any learning and feedback is incorporated into the plan.

Watch out for notice of the usual public meeting at St Mary’s church to be held very soon.

Home But Not Alone & Other Support

Suffolk residents can still seek support over the festive period.

Help is available for anyone who is self-isolating, facing financial difficulties or struggling with their health and wellbeing.

Call Home But Not Alone

Alternatively if you still need help then please contact the Parish Clerk who will try to find a volunteer from the pool that was offering help during previous lockdowns.

This help could still be available.

Neighbourhood Plan Survey Closes to Responses

The Neighbourhood Plan Household Survey has now closed to responses.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council would like to thank all who took the time to complete the survey. These responses will be enormously helpful.

A special thanks goes to Walsham le Willows Primary School children and teachers for their contributions to the under 18s section.

Work is now underway to write up a report and analyse the data and the group are looking forward to sharing the results in 2022.

A Thank You from Father Christmas

What a fantastic turn out for my visit to Walsham le Willows! Thank you to everyone who came out in the dreary weather to see the fantastically festive tractor and trailer. I hope you enjoyed it half as much as me and my elves. A special thanks to Rudolph who was in charge of the tractor and all the other elves behind the scenes who helped pull everything together. Seeing the children’s faces always makes all the hard work and my long journey worthwhile.

If you’re all good, I may be making an reappearance in 2022!

Best wishes

Father Christmas
Working with Walsham le Willows Community Council

Refurbished Village Sign

The Parish Council would like to thank Amanda Ellis and David Murray for doing the work required to refurbish the village sign. The Parish Council has funded a replacement post as this had been found to be rotten at the base.

Amanda has kindly repainted the ironwork which hopefully makes the signage stand out a bit better against the tree that has grown to it.

Replacing the post with the help of Clarkes

The newly refursbished post & signage

Christmas Recycling and Refuse Collections

MSDC Christmas bin collection calendars are now available, along with lots of other useful information.

Annual collection calendars for 2022 are now available on the MSDC website.

If you have a brown bin

During January, you can leave your real Christmas tree, with all decorations removed, beside your brown bin on collection day.

Please note: Large trees (trees that are over 7ft tall, or have a trunk thicker than 7cm), can only be collected via a collection point. They can also be taken to a Suffolk Recycling Centre.

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