Community Council Food Bank

The new food bank facility is now open to provide emergency supplies to residents of the benefice. The benefice covers Walsham, Badwell Ash, Finningham, Langham, Wattisfield and Westhorpe .

Donate: Please take long life foods and personal hygiene products to the collection point in the Memorial Hall or make contact to arrange a collection.

Request assistance: If you are struggling for whatever reason please make contact to discuss your needs. All contact with the food bank will remain confidential and discrete. No-one will know that you have made a request.

Get involved: Please make contact to discuss what you are able to offer.

Amanda | 01359 258 646 |

Parish Council Meetings During Lockdown

graphic of people around meeting table in silhouette

Parish Council meetings are currently being held at the usual time, at 7pm on every second Tuesday of the month, but online using the Zoom conferencing app for the duration of the lockdown.

Online via Zoom due to Coronavirus restrictions. Members of the public are able to join the meeting to observe or make representations by using the following Zoom credentials:

Next Meeting on 8th December 2020

Link to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 829 4021 6530          Passcode: 425523

Find the agenda under relevant date

If you need any help with joining the meeting online by Zoom please contact the Clerk who will try to assist.

Plans for the Annual Parish Meeting were postponed by the coronavirus lockdown. It is probably now unlikely that this event will take place during 2020.

Up for New Year Dance Lessons?

The Community Council, working with Active Suffolk and Fit Villages have secured a dance instructor to start lessons at the village hall in the new year.

To make sure we provide dance lessons for as many people within the village as possible, a ‘one question’ survey has been set up to find out which types of dance would be best attended.

If you are interested in dance lessons in the village, please use the following link to register your preference.

Ready, Steady CENSUS

Households across Walsham le Willows will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

You can read more in this Community Handbook or for more information, visit

Memorial Hall Update – 2nd Lockdown

In light of the announcement by the Government on Saturday 31st October, the hall will be closed from 5th November for four weeks.

While the committee are deeply saddened by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, the health and safety of everyone remains the highest priority.

Thank you to everyone that has supported the hall as it re-opened after the first lockdown. It is hoped tre-opening will be possible very soon and people can be welcomed back. Keep safe.

1200 Daffodils Planted in the Village

‘And then my heart with pleasure fills…and dances with the daffodils’.

William Wordsworth 1770 – 1850

You may have noticed, on a couple of recent weekends, an intrepid band of
‘horticulturalists’ working on the six roads leading into Walsham. On behalf of the
Open Gardens Trust they have been busy planting 1200 daffodil bulbs on the verges
around the village signs, in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the Open Gardens
next year.

Ably supported by coffee, sausage rolls and blueberry muffins provided by Jan Hall, and
bacon rolls by Frances Jenner, they dug their way through some very heavy vegetation
to complete the task. Hopefully, the fruits of their labours will be evident next spring, in
a display that will, over the forthcoming years, develop into one that will rival
Wordsworth’s ‘crowd, a host of golden daffodils’.

The Open Gardens team would like to thank John Stebbing, Karl Trainer, Robin Newell, John Hall, Mike Cousins, Les Fulcher, Howard Gilbert, Frances Jenner and Jan Hall for their hard

Village Hall Update – November 2020

While other areas of the country are facing Covid restrictions, Suffolk is lucky to be in
Tier 1, which means the hall can for the time being remain open within Government
guidance. This means the Tai Chi and Yoga classes and the coffee shop can continue.

The Coffee shop is still on Thursday mornings 10.30am till 12.00pm to coincide with
the post van times and with the onset of Autumn weather it has now moved inside, with table service. Prices remain £1 for a slice of home-made cake or cheese scone/sausage roll and just 50p for a cup of tea or coffee.

The book exchange has started again and on the 5th November, Diana should be returning with her Flamingo Paperie with beautiful cards, gift wrap and craft kits.

Since the Macmillan coffee morning on the 24th September further donations of £75
have brought the total raised up to an amazing £346.88, well done to everyone involved.
Thank you.

To avoid further confusion, the Memorial Hall Committiee would like to clarify that the 200 club is not, and has never been, linked to or run by either the Community Council or the Village Hall. Any questions or interest should be directed to the organiser Mrs J Bloomfield.

Amanda Ellis

Parish Council requests village maintenance volunteers

Following the receipt by the Parish Council of this year’s ROSPA report (inspection of Play Area Safety) Cllr Paul Arbon has suggested the Parish Council asks volunteers to come forward to assist with minor maintenance jobs that crop up at the Play Area and elsewhere around the village. 

Cllr Arbon will co-ordinate these volunteers along with existing volunteers who led the consultation exercises which aim to ensure that the future development of the play area meets the expectations of local people.

If you feel you might be able to assist and have a little spare time, please contact the Parish Clerk in the first instance at or 01359 259 794

Posters suggesting mask wearing is dangerous appear in the village

You may have seen posters appearing around the village at bus shelters and elsewhere suggesting they are dangerous to the wearer. Wearing a facemask is about one thing: providing some degree of protection to others from your own exhalation in confined spaces or when otherwise in close proximity to others.

A couple of things to note if you are inclined to take the points in these posters at all seriously:

  • The last point on the posters suggests that there have been no peer reviewed studies of mask effectiveness but interestingly does not cite any peer reviewed studies for the contrary arguments or any of the other five assertions made. You may like to consider the following which appears to be based on verifiable science:

Who knew tissues and handkerchiefs worked…when they are used?

Relative sizes of a virus and molecules (Dr Anotella Frau in answer to question on Quora)

Relative scales (or orders of magnitude) are the key. As beautifully explained by Palli Thordarson. The SARS-CoV-19 and most viruses fall below the “polio virus” in size, as shown in the graphic above.

Molecules like O₂ – Oxygen (made of two atoms) or CH₄ – Methane (made of five atoms) are about the size of “atom” in the same graphic.

Along with oxygen, carbon dioxide molecules are also tiny, far smaller than droplets containing coronavirus which the masks are designed to stop – and won’t be trapped by a breathable material, particularly during relatively short periods like a bus journey.

SARS-CoV-2 particles do not float freely in the air. They are expelled as relatively large droplets, which research shows are easily caught by a simple cloth or paper mask. If an infected person doesn’t wear a mask, their droplets quickly evaporate into smaller droplet nuclei, which are harder to filter with a cloth mask. However there are some cloth mask designs which can do a very good job of this too.

from Particle sizes for mask filtration –

Brownian Motion (the random motion of particles suspended in a medium, a liquid or a gas).

  • Take a look at this video in which a doctor debunks the ‘oxygen depletion’ assertion and by implication, all of the other points made in the posters.

Walsham Drama Group takes a bow

line drawing of olive coloured comedy mask and mauve coloured tragedy mask

Listeners to BBC Radio Suffolk may have tuned in to the Breakfast Show on 31st August, and heard Matthew Lockyer, co-founder of the Walsham Drama Group, being
interviewed by Mark Murphy. Radio Suffolk were aware that the Drama Group had donated £5,000 to the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, and Mark was keen to give Matthew the opportunity to talk about how the money had been raised, and why the group had chosen the Theatre Royal as beneficiary.

Continue reading “Walsham Drama Group takes a bow”

Managing the Wild Wood

Walsham-le-Willows Wild Wood Group Logo

Although our intention is to create a woodland which both villagers and wildlife will see as a “wild wood” this does not mean that the area can just be left to its own devices.

Any useful habitat needs to be carefully managed and it is surprising how much work has to go into maintaining and developing most nature reserves.

Please help us in our work: take any litter home – clean up after your dog
but most of all . . . enjoy Walsham Wild Wood

Problems or Comments

Contact Richard Belson | 01359 258868

Continue reading “Managing the Wild Wood”

Gardens Weekend, an Update – October 2020

Walsham le Willows Open Gardens Weekend Banner
Image of blue cornflowes in white vase on table loooking through open gate in red brick wall out to The Street beyond

Many people in the village will have been saddened that the pandemic scuppered plans for 40th anniversary celebrations and that the August Bank Holiday passed by without the traditional fun enjoyed by so many, this event being a chance to
welcome hundreds of visitors to Walsham le Willows where they share in the things that make Walsham a very special place.

It is sincerely hoped that 2021 will be the year Gardens Weekedn returns even bigger and even better than before.

Continue reading “Gardens Weekend, an Update – October 2020”

Volunteer Collator Required

The Community Council is looking to appoint a new collator to oversee the monthly production of the printed version of the Walsham Observer.

This role will require a regular monthly time commitment of half a day co-ordinating a small team of fellow volunteers in the Memorial Hall.

Our aim is to engage a new person to this role from 1st January 2021. If you are interested, please contact the Editor or Community Council Secretary for further details.

Village Hall Update – October 2020

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

The hall upgrade is almost completed, the new anti-slip flooring is down, the second fix
to the electrics are done, with the cooker wired in and extra sockets and the stainless
kitchen units have been delivered.
The back log of maintenance is getting shorter with new vent covers fitted to the outside of the vents from the male toilets and the broken concrete over the old cesspit to the
back of the hall assessed, removed and area made good.

The coffee shop held every Thursday morning 10.30 -12 noon, continues to be a great
success, in fact this weeks , 24th September, was a special one and raised a staggering
£271.88, every penny going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Continue reading “Village Hall Update – October 2020”

Neighbourhood Plan Group looking for a Secretary

The Neighbourhood Plan Group are looking for someone to step forward to the role of Secretary for its meetings.  It involves taking notes in a one page format at two meetings a month at 7-8pm on a Thursday, typing them up, circulating to the group via email and, once approved, distributing for publication on the Parish Council website and in The Observer.

Sometimes there are additional events and presence at those would be according to availability and agreement, the role otherwise being limited as specified.

This role enormously supports communication about the work of the group and is crucial to stimulating the engagement of a diverse mix of people with that work and hopefully at the meetings. It is a voluntary position which will be hugely appreciated by the group.

Expressions of interest to

St Mary’s Clock Dial Restored

It’s time to put the clock back!

The magnificent clock dial for St Mary’s church in Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk was restored and reinstated by S Michlmayr & Co Ltd., clock and watchmakers of Norwich, and financed by the Walsham le Willows Open Gardens Trust from funds raised in the past from its August Bank Holiday event.

S Michlmayr & Co blog have recently restored and reinstated the magnificent clock dial for St Mary’s church.

St Mary’s church sits at the centre of Walsham and is impressive by any standards, with a large clerestory and an interesting chequerwork flint porch. It was gifted to Ixworth Priory around 1540 and, as is the case with many English Churches, was lavishly restored by the Victorians, although many of the medieval features have been retained.

It is unusual for a village church to feature a clock; in fact St Mary’s sheer scale and
grandeur puts it on the map as one of the stand-out village churches in the county.

Continue reading “St Mary’s Clock Dial Restored”

Parish Council – Upcoming Street Sweeper Vacancy

The Parish Council will soon have a vacancy for the paid (self-employed) role of streetsweeper and play area maintenance person.

Now that the Parish Council has assumed full control of the Play Area it is an appropriate time to review the Statement of Particulars for both roles before advertising.

If you might be interested, please watch this space or the Observer for the advertisement.

Memorial Hall Re-Opens for Covid Secure events

The Memorial Hall has re-opened but only for events that can be assessed as possible with Covid Secure compliance. Please contact Amanda Ellis to discuss your event so that an assessment can be completed for your proposed event.

Restarting of Yoga Classes

From 9th September Hath yoga for healthy breathing stretching and relaxation with restart again. No previous experience required and all abilities welcome.

From 7.15 to 9.15 pm every Wednesday evening.

Further details from Julia (British Wheel of Yoga) 07980476140 or

Another Historic Churches Ride for 2020

Takes place on Saturday 12th September from 9.00am and 5.00pm

An excellent event, enabling you to take a pleasant leisurely ride around the area, visit a number of the local churches, meet other cyclists and maybe find somewhere to have a drink and a bite to eat – socially distanced, of course.

You might find yourself exploring some other area of Suffolk or even South Norfolk. Some
churches may provide refreshments, but don’t rely on it in these very different

The rise is for the benefit of Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (50%) and the other half goes to the church of your choice. Sponsor forms can be found in St Mary’s, or you can download here. List of churches that should be open.

Yu may have to self-register at some churches if there is no-one present to sign your sponsorship form. Take your camera, or smart-phone, and create a photographic record of your day out on two wheels as evidence for sponsors. Take something to write with for those places where you have to self-register.

Although the ride is scheduled for 9:00am till 5:00pm there is nothing to stop you
starting early and finishing late – for a really long ride – but in any event do cycle with
care and be consideration toward other road users – walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and
motorists. If you are driving in the area on that day do apply the same care and
consideration, and be aware that there may well be a cyclist around the next corner.

Do seriously consider taking part, your contribution will be much appreciated in these
Corvid strapped times with no village Church Fete or Open Gardens Weekend this year.

Julia’s Simple Free Forest Yoga – Donated Session

At the Walsham Wild Wood
Calm, Stretch and Breathe
10 am – 11 am 12th September

A wonderful one off chance to try some very simple yoga
outdoors with Julia – Walsham’s local yoga teacher – who
is very kindly donating a free hour’s yoga session up at the
Walsham Wild Wood.

Bring a mat or towel to lie on and
wear soft clothes so you can move and bend easily!

Memorial Village Hall New Alfresco Coffee Shop

The Community Council committee
would like to welcome back everyone to the
MVH Al Fresco Coffee Shop now re-opened under government guidelines for
village halls and COVID 19.

Teas, coffee and homemade cake is served in the ‘Freebourn Garden’
Open every Thursday
(to coincide with the Post Office Van and weather permitting)

New Time of 10.30am to 12.30pm
Pricing remains the same for 2020 as 2019.
Please come along and enjoy the garden and company.

Women’s Institute Lockdown Update – September 2020

There are signs that the village and its people are tentatively returning to a few of the
activities that have been absent for the last few months and Wednesday saw a group of
intrepid WI members, dutifully socially distanced, sitting beneath some very useful
canvas cover on the sports field.

Drab weather maybe but lively chat in that party, as friends who had not met since lockdown greeted one another with smiles and laughter. No business, no speaker but a real warm enjoyment of each other’s company.

The rain dripped steadily as news was exchanged and plans suggested for a repeat meeting if a suitable site and reliable weather could be forecast. And of course, there was cake!

All WI members are staying touch with The Hive, the on-line fortnightly WI magazine. Find it on the Suffolk West Federation website.

This month it details a list of new virtual talks available on line, available tomembers and non-members also.

Jill Newell

Memorial Village Hall Lockdown Update – September 2020

The hall kitchen upgrade is progressing. The walls in the kitchen have been made good
and painted a fresh white and the anti-slip flooring is being laid. The committee thank the Parish Council for paying for the flooring and helping to maintain a valuable village asset.

The new kitchen units are on order and hopefully will be delivered the beginning of September.

The coffee shop continues to be held in the garden and is proving a great success on
Thursday mornings, another thank you to all those that attend and those who bake for

With the continuing easing of lock-down, I am now back in contact with Fit Villages
Suffolk in the hope that as soon as the hall is ready we can start opening up for some
activities, in line with COVID 19 guideline and best practises.

Amanda Ellis