News Archive 2016


Christmas Walk

27 December 2016

50 walkers of all ages participated on the Clare Loop Walk from the country park, ending for coffee, mince pies and drinks at the Globe Inn.  It was a delightfully sunny day.

Will this become an annual event?

ATM reinstallation – delay

16 December 2016

We have just received an update from Mary Evans, our county councillor from the installer:

“The work is being undertaken in a manner sympathetic to the building design and character. The re-building fabric works both internally and externally is expected to be completed by the end of this week (16/12/2016) along with the ATM power supply install. The ATM operators are currently looking at the ATM install works to take place either week commencing 13/1/2017 or week commencing 20/1/2017 – a finalised date is to be confirmed.”

Disappointing news.

 Tree planted in the Country Parkburge-park-commemoration

14 December 2016

A birch tree has been planted in Clare Castle Country Park in memory of Janet Burge, who died last year and who had been a staunch member of Clare in Bloom as well as an active member of our community.  It is next to a stand of birch trees near the eastern entrance to the children’s playground.


Burglary in the Antiques Centre

14 December 2016

Burglars took at least £15,000 of jewellery and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage in a raid on the Antiques Centre in Maltings Lane.  Despite the alarm sounding and neighbours calling the police after the incident, which happened sometime before 7.30am last Wednesday (December 7) the burglars could not be found.  Suffolk Police is asking anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has any information to call them on 101.  See the original newspaper article here.

New Cut works pt 2Works on the New Cut

5 December 2016

It’s good to see how far the workers of Britain have come to repair the banks of the New Cut.

The Devil’s Dyke in nearby Cambridgeshire was dug in the 6thC to keep the Mercians/Welshmen out, but here they are again keeping our borders in good condition!

ATM re-installation

5 December 2016

A new window has been installed on the front of the Co-op; a frame is left, awaiting the ATM.

New Cut worksNew Cut banks, Clare Castle Country Park

22 November 2016

Over the next two weeks, at long last, Suffolk County Council will undertake several repairs to the banks of the New Cut.  The path north of the New Cut may be closed during this time.  Materials & equipment will be stored in the Car Park.

When the work is complete, the Friends of Clare Library will be able to install a new bench in memory of the late Harriet Loram.  It will be in the same position as an existing but damaged bench, halfway along the northside path – see photo on right.  A Dog Walk took place on Sunday 27 November to raise funds.

War Memorial listed

10 November 2016

Clare War Memorial - detail

Detail from the War Memorial – arms of St Edmundsbury

We have just received notice that the War Memorial has been listed Grade II, No 1435121 as part of Historic England‘s First World War Commemoration project.

The report on Historic England reads:

‘Clare war memorial stands in a prominent location in Clare’s Market Square and acts as a poignant and eloquent reminder of the sacrifices of the local community during the First World War.  The war memorial takes the form of a modest but well-executed cross monument set on an octagonal base with a square plinth which retains its original set of carved inscriptions and four distinct coats of arms (representing Clare, the Suffolk Regiment, St Edmund and St George), giving the memorial clear local resonance.  The monument is bounded on all sides by Grade II listed C16 buildings, including the Bell Hotel (NHLE 1194809) and Hope Cottage (NHLE 1376685), making clear the memorial’s strong claims to group value as part of Market Hill’s historic streetscape.  Overall, it is considered that the memorial has special architectural and historical interest and meets the criteria for listing.’

Parking sign

4 November 2016

The brown parking sign at the junction of Nethergate Sreet and Maltings Lane which indicated the Country Park and the Parking available there and which mysteriously disappeared three months ago is going to be replaced, Suffolk Highways reported.

Just received from Suffolk County Council
Public Health & Protection Dept

3 November 2016

NHS Health Check

ATM at the Co-op returns

27 October 2016

We understand the ATM will be re-installed at the Co-op in Market Hill in the near future.

Mary Evans, our county councillor, Alaric Pugh our district councillor and Paul Bishop, chair of our council, have all been pursuing this issue, made more difficult as the ATM is provided by an agent of the Co-op Bank which has no connection with the Co-op.

In the light of national news that ATMs are being withdrawn in many districts, this is excellent news.

Mughal Knight opens

24 October 2016

A new Bangladeshi & Indian restaurant opens today in the former Cardamom premises.  See the entry on the Food & Drink page for discounts…….

Best wishes for the new endeavour.

Friends of Clare Library mourn

19 October 2016

It is with great sadness that we learned last week of the unexpected death at home of Harriet Loram, founder and chair of the Friends of Clare Library.  She will be sorely missed, the main spring behind Cine Clair, the quizzes, Scrabble championship, books stall on Market Hill, Magna Carta jigsaw, Mah Jong……

The announced shows for Cine Clair in 2016 will not take place.  It will re-open in the New Year.

Library changes

7 October 2016

Lisa Dunn has moved to a new job in her home town of Hadleigh.  Her last day was 5 October.  Everyone wishes her well in her new position, after years of friendly professional service to the readers of Clare.

Karla Greenwood replaces her.  Karla is a Clare resident and has worked for some years in Sudbury Library.  We express a warm welcome to her appointment and every success in maintaining our excellent Library and its multiple resources.

Heritage Lottery Fund award!

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Congratulations to the Trustees of Clare Castle Country Park.  They have been awarded the first stage of a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant to the value of £206,000.  This is given towards what is known as the ‘Development Phase’ and will enable detailed specifications to be drawn up and firm prices to be obtained for the work that will be required in the ‘Delivery Phase’.Heritage Lottery Fund logo

If the detailed plans that are developed during the Development Phase are close to the proposals specified in the application made by the Trustees to the HLF, the funds required for the Delivery Phase would be about £1.5 million; physical work would start in about two years.  The funding for the Delivery Phase will require another application but the grant awarded is a very strong sign that the HLF view the overall plans favourably.

The Town Council is grateful for the hard work the Trustees have put in over many months; we are sure all our residents and visitors will want to applaud their success.

Motte news

Monday 3 October 2016

Since writing the article below, the research group investigating the Clare motte have announced that Skipsea Castle in Yorkshire was built on an Iron Age mound, 1500 years older than previously thought.  See the Guardian article.  Will Clare Castle hit the news?

Drilling on the Motte

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Borehole drilling

Borehole drilling

Within Clare Castle Country Park, two boreholes of 55mm diameter are being driven from the top of the motte to the base.  The work will be completed by Thursday.  The motte will not be closed while this is carried out, except when equipment is being carried up and down. Residents and visitors are welcome to observe and to talk to the crew about what they are finding.

Test bore on Clare motte

Examining the core sample

The research is being carried out by the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology, with approval from Historic England.  Cores are taken as the boreholes descend and it is hoped to discover valuable historical information. The project is called Extending Histories: from Medieval Mottes to Prehistoric Round Mounds (‘The Round Mounds Project’ for short), a three-year research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Reading and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC).  An outline of the project with a section specific to Clare may be found here; readers will see how detailed some of the examination of the soil samples will be.

The Clare motte could have been constructed on a pre-existing Neolithic mound.  The team will use a satellite navigation system to undertake a precise topographic survey.  The motte is 19.5m high  from the base: this makes it the third highest mound in the UK, after Silbury Hill, the tallest prehistoric mound in Europe, and Thetford Castle, another Norman structure.   When the core samples are analysed, more will be revealed.

Twenty mottes are being investigated; this is the second year of drilling.  Soon they will be drilling at Tonbridge Castle in Kent, sister castle to Clare, the other key stronghold of the de Clares.  Are they identical in construction?  Were they built a different times?

Ram Raid on the Co-op

Sunday 11 September 2016

The front of the Co-op in Clare in Suffolk wrecked after thieves used a digger to steal a cash machine. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The front of the Co-op wrecked after thieves used a digger to steal a cash machine.  Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police are investigating after a JCB (stolen from Belchamp St Paul) was driven into the supermarket and a cash machine was stolen.  The ATM machine was removed from the wall at Market Hill at approximately 2.50am.  The thieves made off in a white pick-up truck (stolen from Wivenhoe) heading towards Ashen Road.  The ATM was found opened in Nethergate Street.  Detectives say the vehicles used in the ram raid were stolen in Essex; both Suffolk & Essex forces are working together to gather intelligence.  Police are appealing for information.

It is the latest in a series of ram-raids across south Suffolk and north Essex in the past few months: Brightlingsea, Sudbury and Coggeshall.  Great Bradfield Co-op was attacked earlier on the same night as Clare, but the criminals left empty-handed.  Another raid took place in St Neots three days earlier.

Four criminals were involved according to an eye-witness, woken by the noise.  One remained in their pick-up; the others wore balaclavas.

People can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.

Residents await the return of the only ATM in the area; possible structural damage will inevitably delay its return.

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