Saturday Market re-opens in Clare
20 August 2017
After 20 years, a market was opened this Saturday in Clare. At 10am a Town Crier from Thetford officially opened the new market with a few verses celebrating the market dated back before the Normans and now returned, with a stentorious voice and a loud bell. He was followed by words from the Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, Terry Clements, Clare Town Council’s leader, Paul Bishop and our local borough councillor, Alaric Pugh. Thanks was given to Sharon Fairweather, market development officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
The stalls occupied either side of the road through to Bucks Lane from Market Hill; many stalls were located in the car park of Wayman & Long – thanks to our local solicitors for use of their facilities and electricity supply!
Among the many stalls were organic vegetables, cheeses, an English distillery, salami & meat products, bread, well being, clothes, pickles, cakes & tarts. crafts…… all the variety of a busy market.
The crowds were out for the launch at 10 am, but the market was still busy later in the day.
Stour Valley Community School maintains good Ofsted rating
12 August 2017
The schoo maintained the Good rating that it received at the previous inspection four years earlier, with inspectors stating there had been excellent progress across all aspects of the school. Students were praised for their achievements in science, mathematics and humanities, in which they performed significantly above the national average, while science subjects were given special mention, described by inspectors as “a beacon of excellence”.
Stour Valley headteacher Christine Inchley said: “This was a tough inspection with the inspectors very focused on student progress, disadvantaged students and development of the curriculum. We have been tenacious in developing a wider range of curriculum courses that meets the needs of our growing student population. We continue to be strong in English, art, music, drama, and dance, and our modern foreign languages offering will be enhanced in 2017.”
Keith Haisman, chairman of school trustees, added: “I am delighted with the outcome of this inspection. It is external proof of the quality of education that we offer, and I am very proud of the whole team at the school for working so hard to achieve such positive results for our students. I am particularly pleased that the behaviour of our students is confirmed to be outstanding. Their attitude to learning, to each other and to everyone they come into contact with is exemplary, and I am so proud of them.”
As reported in Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press
Our students in the Park
27 July 2017
You may have missed the recentarticle in the latest Haverhill Echo: Students embrace nature in Clare Castle Country Park study programme
Here’s the link. We first reported on the building of a willow structure on the 24th March. The Haverhill Echo photo shows Neil Catchpole and students.
New footbridge near the Nuttery
A new footbridge has been installed across a ditch through a belt of trees close to the western end of the Nuttery, on one of the concessionary footpaths in that area. The heavy materials were provided by David Byford, the landowner and his team. The key builders were Keith Brown and Keith Mison, with Carl Benson, Derek Blake and Phil Gryce in supporting roles (chicken-wire fixing).
The photo (thanks to Keith Brown of the Walks Group) is of four willing testers of the new bridge.
Lottery update central to Park Meeting
13 July 2017
Last night the Clare Castle Country Park Trust held its Annual Meeting in the Park Centre. Attended by some 80 people, the main business, aside from a report on the current healthy finances, was an overview of the Heritage Lottery Fund project. The newly appointed project manager, James Mellish was introduced and he took everyone through the many professional consultants advising the trust as well as many of the features of the bid. James is a very experienced manager of such projects: Burgess and Clissold Parks in London, as well as RSPB Snape, Chatsworth House and Bury St Edmunds Guildhall. We expect to see him frequently in the park over the coming period. Trustees gave further details of the plans with respect to activities for all ages (both large and small), improvement to the ecology, archaeology investigations, walks events, educational programmes……
Members of the audience asked a range of questions that included how the Park could be sustained when the HLF funding ended and what financial support had been received since the Park had been transferred. Geoffrey Bray responded that
- the Trustees were committed to ensuring that the Park would be financially sustainable in the future
- the HLF would not make a grant unless they were convinced that would be the case
- apart from the money promised by Suffolk County Council at the time the Park was transferred, no financial support had been received from Clare Town Council or Suffolk CC.
Overall there was enthusiastic support of the proposals and strong expressions of thanks to the trustees.
There have been three days when the plans have been available (during the Party in the Park and the Priory’s Art & Craft Fair). People have been encouraged to discuss them with trustees and consultants and complete feedback forms; some 250 people have viewed the plans. This week’s Chevron will enclose an update from the Trust which invites residents to give feedback on the consultation plans. Make sure you have your say.
Note: James Mellish has a website where more of his work can be viewed.
10 July 2017
Clare’s oldest pub is open under new management: Nik and Victoria. There will be a launch on Saturday 15th July in the afternoon, with a barbecue from 1-5 and live music from 3-5. A new menu of traditional pub food will be available from 6pm. Opening hours will be longer: 11-11 Mon-Sat.
Party in the Park 2017
3 July 2017
The sun shone, the music played and the people came – in their thousands!
An estimated 7,500 people attended the Party in the Park in Clare Castle Country Park on Saturday 1st July. Organised by the Clare Community Association, this event had something for everyone, young and old.
There was a fantastic raffle, tombola, stalls, donkey rides, children’s entertainment, wood carving, morris dancing, vintage vehicles, traditional crafts, birds of prey, a hog roast, beer tent etc plus live music from the Drive In’s and Jerimiah Marques and the Blue Aces, and much more!
There was lots going on in the arena too, with displays from local organisations and a fun dog show. All in all, a great day out for all the family.
‘The Party in the Park was a wonderful success and shows that Clare people are capable of organising events in Clare Country Park without resorting to outside sources’: Cllr Chris Marchant. ‘Such a great event – and a great big thank you, before, during and after, to all those volunteers’: Cllr Phil Gryce. ‘What fabulous day. The sun shone on you and your team and very well deserved it was. A great success’: Keith Haisman
Watch out for future CCA events in Clare – such as Pumpkins in the Park in October and the lovely Christmas Fair in November!
It’s a sell out!
The first edition of the new collection of historic photographs of Clare in the 20th century was sold out by May 15th. Robin Stone’s large format, heavily illustrated book is being reprinted – order copies fro Harris & Harris bookshop; some of the profits from the cost of £17.99 goes towards the Clare Christmas Lights.
This morning a new bench was unveiled in Clare Castle Country Park. It commemorates Harriet Loram who walked her dogs along the New Cut with fellow walkers and who helped found the Friends of Clare Library.
The bench will be found along the southern path along the New Cut from the car park to the weir. It was installed by Cutts & Cousins free of charge.
A group of friends gathered to toast her life and remember her efforts on behalf of the community.
Clare Antiques Centre burglary
16 May 2017
Police are appealing for information after a burglary at a shop in Malting Lane in Clare earlier this morning.
Officers were alerted at 4.50am today, Tuesday 16 May, to reports a black Jeep-style 4×4 vehicle, with a large radiator panel and a bull bar on the front, had been driven into a side door at the shop, triggering an alarm. Police arrived and discovered two cabinets had been smashed open and a quantity of jewellery had been stolen. It’s thought at least two men, dressed in dark clothing, were involved and the vehicle appeared to drive off in the direction of Stoke-by-Clare following the incident.
Officers are also looking at whether the crime may be linked to an attempted burglary in Glemsford around 4.25am yesterday, Monday 15 May, where a 4×4 vehicle was driven at a store in Hunts Hill. Damage was caused to a window and a bollard but no entry was gained to the premises.
Police are asking anyone who may have been in either area around the relevant time who may have seen the vehicle, or anyone with information about the burglary or those involved to call Suffolk Police on 101, quoting crime number 35321/17. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555 111.
Street lighting in Clare
10 May 2017
Over the coming months many of our street lights will be replaced by Suffolk County Council in a rolling programme. They will be LED lights that are clearer than the existing – using much less electricity, better focused – shining on pavements and roads rather than buildings, dimmable – capable of being adjusted at different times. Permission from Planning in St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be sought where necessary.
The main streets affected in this round will be Common Street, Highfield, Snow Hill and Stoke Road. The full list may be found here. The situation is complicated as some lights require a different approach, being placed on power or telephone poles not owned by SCC; in other cases, where attached to listed buildings, other checks and permissions have to be sought. All lights will eventually be replaced.
County Council elections
6 May 2017
The results of the elections for councillor for the Clare ward were:
Robin Davies, Labour 355
Mary Evans, Conservative 2445 Elected
Stuart Letten, UKIP 315
Alex Rolph, Liberal Democrat 545
New café in the Park opens on Friday 28th April
19 April 2017
On Saturday 29th from 12 – 4, Bury Theatre Workshop will be playing some scenes from ‘Brief Encounter‘ throughout the day, celebrating Noel Coward’s railway tearoom romance.
We look forward to sitting outside in the sunshine, sipping a coffee or sampling a slice of cake. Too nippy? Then inside, beside the log-burner.
The menu will offer soup, sandwiches & paninis, jacket potatoes & specials, scones. & cakes………plus teas and coffees from Butterworths in Bury St Edmunds. See Clare Castle Country Park’s page for more information.
13 April 2017
New signs have gone up around the school and in Callis Street reflecting the new relationship between our primary school and the Stour Valley Community School.
The management has moved away from the county council, but for the children their education rolls on, the learning, the fun: here are some photos of the recent Forest School, a six week programme that was run with the help of parents, volunteers and the Clare Castle Country Park Trustees.
A slideshow of more pictures may be found on the Park’s website.
4 April 2017
Tree work in Clare Castle Country Park continues apace.
Here’s Neil Catchpole felling a dead elm up the side of the motte.
24 March 2017
Students from Stour Valley Community School, assisted by Neil Catchpole, have begun work on creating a willow structure in the Country Park. The willow boughs & whips were cut from the pollarded trees alongside the moat closest to the motte.
The work is in progress, more will be woven into the frame. As the season progresses, those boughs & whips planted into the ground will root and flourish, making this into a living shelter. We will leave our readers to find it for themselves – just enjoy the walk!
The Stour Valley Volunteers have carried out a tremendous clearance along the footpath that goes north from Harp Lane – the muddiest stretch of any footpath in Clare. In one section as seen in the photo on the right they have returned the path to its original line, higher up the field bank, away from a treacherous slippery section.
This path is part of the Stour Valley Long Distance Walk as well as essential for walkers on the Clare-Cavendish trail or the Houghton Hall circular walk – see our Walks website for details
In Clare Castle Country Park, Suffolk County Council have relaid a footpath damaged during bank repairs last year. See our news item from 15 March below.
Red Kite overhead
A red kite was seen flying over Westfield last week. It has an unmistakable silhouette with a forked tail, unlike the buzzard, a more frequent visitor, with a semicircular tail.
It’s almost time for the swallows, swifts and martins to appear – perhaps the best sign that spring has sprung!
15 March 2017
A new storage facility has been placed in the cemetery in the facility area behind the laurel bushes opposite the chapel, on the left-hand side of the entrance way. It will used to store equipment for our grave digger plus various bulky council possessions such as the temporary road signs used for Memorial Sunday.
Further work in the Park
15 March 2017
The footpath along the New Cut from the car park towards the weir will be closed for a few days while Suffolk County Council make good what was disturbed when they worked on the banks last year.
Work continues apace on the tree-cutting programme announced last year.
Hedging plants have been dug in along the boundary fence of the bowling green. This will make a more attractive edge than the wire.
CLASP at Waitrose in Sudbury
28 February 2017
Throughout this March Waitrose Community Matters involves CLASP.
Every month this branch will donate £1000 between three local good causes that you choose.
How does it work?
At the checkout you’ll receive a token, which you then place in the box of the good cause you’d most like to support. The more tokens a cause gets, the bigger the donation they receive. You can also nominate good causes to be considered for the scheme in the future. Just pick up a leaflet in store for more information.
So if you’re shopping in Sudbury Waitrose, don’t forget to pick up your green token and vote for CLASP!
Clare Councillor Election
27 February 2017
St Edmundsbury Borough Council have published the timetable for the election of a councillor. The Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll, made public today, reveals that the candidates standing are:
- Paula Rippingale
- Richard Smith
- Robin Stone
If you have not registered and are entitled to so, or you wish to change your method of voting (in person, by proxy or by post), you can use this form. It can also be done online. The last date for registration will be Tuesday 7 March. Postal vote applications will close on Wednesday 8 March. Proxy votes will close by Wednesday 15 March. Poll cards will be issued by post.
The Electoral Registration Officer for West Suffolk has online advice and information and is based at West Suff0lk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3YU.
The election will take place on Thursday 23 March, 7am – 10pm. Like any other election, whether national or district, voting will take place in the Old School, Callis Street.
New shop in Market Hill
10 February 2017
Maison de Clements, run by Linda Dabbs, opened today in the former Clare Farm Shop, offering French country furniture. antiques & vintage kitchenalia & interior design pieces. Opening hours: Mon-Tues 10:00 – 4:30; Thurs – Sat 10:00 – 4:30
Welcome to the new business.
ATM is restored in Market Hill
2 February 2017
The Co-op’s ATM is at last restored and flush with cash.
Coming soon to the Library
24 January 2017
New kit is arriving in the Library: a Flash Forge Finder 3D Printer
Designs to download from the web will be available plus different design programs. A free induction course will take place. Free to print, just pay for the material used.
Watch this space for news of the installation.
Housing Fund for East Anglia
5 January 2017
Communities and Local Government have just announced a £9 million boost for the East of England to tackle issues relating to second home ownership and community led housing.
The Government recognise the issues regarding the availability of housing stock in areas where second home ownership is popular. This reduces not only the availability of homes but in some cases development land and opportunities.
Community-led housing will be given a further boost (as announced on 23 December 2016) from a new annual £60 million fund which will help almost 150 councils tackle the problem of high levels of second homeownership in their communities.
The Community Housing Fund will put local groups in the driving seat and help them deliver affordable housing aimed at first-time buyers in response to the problem second homes can cause in reducing supply.
One third of the funding – almost £20 million – will be allocated directly to local authorities in the South West as this is the most popular region for second homes in England. It accounts for 21% of all second homeownership.
Second home ownership in England is at an all-time high and is crowding out first time buyers and causing a shortage of available properties. Often second homes stand empty for a large proportion of the time which can also affect community cohesion, affect the demographics of an area and distort local housing markets.
Information from LCPAS, one of the Council’s advisory service providers, a local company.
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.”
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.
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!
5 December 2016
A new window has been installed on the front of the Co-op; a frame is left, awaiting the ATM.
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
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.’
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
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.
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’.
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.
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
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.
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
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.