I have enjoyed putting the Magazine together but it is time to hand over to a younger generation.
This will be my last year as Editor as I have been doing this for over ten years during which time I have, I hope, transformed the six or eight page Magazine into a thirty plus pages edition with a very varied selection of articles. Judging by what you tell me you enjoy the variety and scope of the Magazine. Next year Christy Simson will be taking over from me and he will produce the 2019 Magazine. This is what he says about himself. “I am very honoured to be taking over from a man who is so well connected to the area, and has overseen so many really interesting articles over the years. I fell in love with the Stour valley when I first saw it in 1978. From that time I lived on and off in Bures before following my sports journalism career to Singapore for 16 years. Along with my young family I returned in June 2016, and have settled in Great Horkesley. I look forward to trying to bring you the best stories from our beautiful area.”
I think that I am now challenging Jeremy Hill when it comes to the number of articles I have written. I do however miss having Jeremy as a contributor. Getting advertisers has been a vital part of my role, as they are needed to contribute to the cost of production. This year I have been so involved with the new website, which took so very much longer than anticipated to get “live”, that I have not had time to find new advertisers, so in 2018 there will be a shortfall in income that will lead to a deficit in the cost of producing the Magazine.
I am grateful to the following, all of whom I can thoroughly recommend. Bates Wells & Braithwaite continue to look after my legal affairs including keeping my Will up to date. Churchill Brothers did a wonderful job on our kitchen, but since then have done work for our family in London installing a lovely kitchen, and making some stunning bookshelves with cupboards underneath for a Drawing Room. Quite superb workmanship and I cannot speak too highly about their work. If you need a new kitchen give them the chance to quote. They are a delight to deal with. NFU continue to insure my house and contents and other personal effects. They are competitive on price and are a delight to deal with, as you can always speak to someone you know. Get them to quote for your insurance when it is due for renewal. I have not found anyone better on price and I check every year. Mansfield 4 X 4 are The Land Rover, or Cross Country enthusiasts dream! Highly skilled and very helpful and they have just completed a huge amount of work on my son’s Land Rover. Superb workmanship. I went to see them in Bury and I was very impressed by their set up. I don’t think any job is too large or too small and I am sure they will repair anything! Whites Farm continues to offer a private pool for hire, which I have used. They also have wonderful peonies in season and Angus is an excellent willow weaver. Savills need no introduction, being in the top rank of Estate Agents and having local offices. Adnams have decided not to advertise in 2018. Their shop in Hadleigh is close to our area but sadly will no longer offer the 10% discount to Members of CSCA as not enough people used it. I did warn last year “use it or lose it”. Can I suggest that you join their Wine Club and you will then get a 10% discount?
Annual General Meeting
It is evident that some Members do not read all parts of the Magazine, as last year several said they did not know about the AGM! So this year we are sending a separate invitation similar to the one for the Summer Party. Please reply via the link given at the bottom of the invitation. DO NOT TELL ME IF YOU ARE NOT COMING! Please do not make any comments in the reply, either! Summer Party As usual the Invitation is enclosed with the Magazine. Please reply by the link at the bottom of the invitation. Again, no comments, or saying you are not coming, please!
AGM Minutes of 2017 Meeting
As in the past, we will distribute the Minutes of last year’s meeting, on the night. E-mail I have emailed the Membership on a few occasions during the year, and several emails have been returned, as Members have changed their email addresses. I have tried to follow these up by letter, asking Members to email me so that I get their new address, but this has not always produced results.
The new website went live on 22nd December 2017 and all members, with email, received a notification. The program used was WordPress which is very much easier to handle than the previous program. I do hope you like the new format which is also much more user friendly. It would be good if we could add some more photographs of places within the CSCA area, so if you can take some interesting photographs, and they are good quality, then I can add them. Interest and quality are vital. I am most grateful to the ever patient, Mike Flowers, for creating the new website. It has not been without problems as in the end it took over three months to get us signed up to GoCardless and PayPal. This also involved setting up internet banking, which took several weeks, and was not helped by the snail’s pace of the bank. Website Manager With the new website up and running the time has come to hand over to someone new as I have been looking after the website since I set it up in 2007. I have also dealt with emails to members when matters have needed to be aired, and commented on to people, such as planning departments in local councils and National Grid. The most contentious issues were the proposed Heritage Centre in Great Horkesley and the Pylons across the Stour Valley. The Heritage Centre was turned down and National Grid agreed to underground the pylons on the basis that the AONB was going to be extended from Wormingford to Cornard. Emma Stewart-Smith will be taking over from me in the next few months, once I am happy that the new website is working correctly. She will, like me, ensure that members’ email addresses are not divulged to others, and she will send all emails Bcc so that other members do not get given your email addresses. I am afraid that we cannot give email addresses to anyone. I have often been asked. , and when I hand over the website to Emma Stewart-Smith I have told her to drop this practice. If you have not had an email from me then I do not have your address. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can pass to Emma, an up to date list of Members’ email addresses!
2019 - Read about Tudor living on a grand scale at Alston Court, how Samuel Courtauld & Co. shaped our towns and villages, hear inspiring stories of local vineyards Tuffon Hall and West Street, get an update on the Dedham Vale AONB extension, and take a tour round Polstead Mill, one of East Anglia's beautiful secret gardens.
2018 - Read about Hedingham Castle, a new National Centre for Gainsborough in Sudbury, award-winning new Gins from Adnams, aspects of our Industrial Heritage, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project, and take a look at the proposed new Constitution for CSCA..
2016 - Interesting articles on medieval graffiti, farming in the Stour Valley, exploring our AONB, early settlers from the Stour Valley to America, the archaeology of a local farm, a wonderful catalogue of British birds, celebrating a Suffolk joinery business, the weather from a South African winery.