Recorder's Report 2014

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Residents in Berden received £85 in compensation for the power cut on Christmas Day.

The Social Club celebrated the New Year with drinks in the Village Hall on the 1st January. The village website which receives 3000 ‘hits’ a day is going to be redesigned over the course of the year. During the last weekend of January we had the 10th Berden Birdwatch organised by John Burton.

There was a successful trip to the British Museum for people from Berden and Manuden which took place on the 8th February. This was preceded by flooding on the 7th which saw the Street turning into a river. Flooding was an issue nationally throughout the month. George Cuda passed away on the 22nd February at Broome End Care Home. He had been a resident in Berden since 1945. He came from Chicago and was the former paper boy to Al Capone. He later became a Golf Coach before joining the US Air force at the onset of war. He was based at Nuthampstead and met Joy Sibley at a dance. They married in Berden Church in 1945 and settled at Park Green where they looked after livestock and lived a simple life. For much of their time there they had no electricity!

A First Aid course based on the use of the Village defibrillator which can be found in the former telephone box took place in the Village Hall on the 11th March. The popular Village Quiz took place on the 21st March. This included a Hot Supper for £6. The social club announced their intention to run a monthly food night, World cup matches and film nights.

Fergus McMullen who lives at the old vicarage became the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire and had his declaration ceremony at St Nicholas Church on the 4th April. He is the first resident to hold this title.

The annual Good Friday Fish supper took place in St Nicholas Church on the 18th April. It was a popular and well attended event.

It was on the 19th April that the local community said goodbye to Bob and Thelma Howells of Berden Hall. A fancy dress party, with the theme of Arrivals and Departures was organised and this was well attended. The new owners; Paul and Michelle Norris were introduced. A beautiful Easter Garden was created by Jenny Arnell and some of the children in the village on the same day.

We had another successful Church concert on the 26th featuring the Hut People. This included some Quebecois foot percussion.

The Opening Weekend of the Berden croquet tournament took place on the last weekend of April

Roy Moss of Little London was buried in Berden Churchyard on the 7th May. The Berden in Africa Fund in association with the Truan Trust met on the 22nd May and call for new members was put out in the Parish magazine. Its aim is to support several students in Uganda. The 31st May saw a wedding in the village between Stuart and Nina Sigston (the Welch Family) and the Rogation tide walk around the Benefice. There was also a Treasure Hunt by car organised by the Social Club. The Berden Emergency Plan was also re-launched and is for the purpose of extraordinary events such as flooding or violent storms.

On the 12th June a long time resident of Berden; Brian Cockram was buried in Berden Churchyard. He had died on the 22nd May at his new home in Balsham. A very popular man who took part in a large number of village activities over the years.

The Summer Busstopshop was held on the 14th June and raised some much needed funds for the church. Over £300 was raised.
On the 19th June Leslie Barker was buried in Berden Churchyard.

Berden celebrated the Tour de France coming nearby with a family day and Tour of Berden. The race was won by Mark Trapmore. The Footpaths around Berden were particularly bad this year with many being left uncut because of council funding etc. St Nicholas Field was in the top 100 worst roads in the county! Repairs are required ASAP.

On the 13th August the funeral of Jenny Lowe who died in late July, took place. She was buried in Berden Churchyard. Jenny had been Parish Clerk for a number of years and helped to build up support for a choir and an annual croquet tournament. She had been a resident of Berden since 1961. On the 20th August a Teddy bears picnic was held in the village playground. Maurice Ancell a lifelong resident of Berden moved to a Nursing home this month. His memories of Berden have been recorded in a book, and is available from the local library.

The Berden Fete took place on a sunny afternoon on the 6th at Berden Hall. It was well attended and raised over £9000 for the village hall and church.

A last Night at the Proms event was held at the Village Hall on the 13th and was organised by the Social Club. The big screen in the hall was used to relay the event from the Royal Albert Hall.

The Berden Tennis Tournament took place on the 28th September and was won by Lindsay Cole and Peter Jester.

Our Harvest supper took place on the first Saturday in October at the Village hall. The meal was cooked by John Burton with the help of his partner Bron. Quiz and raffle was organised by Mark Trapmore. A popular family occasion! The Autumn Quiz took place on the 17th October in the Village Hall.

The ever popular Bonfire Night took place on the 8th with some excellent fireworks and food served by members of the Social Club. A World War One exhibition about the soldiers in Manuden and Berden took place on the 22nd November to commemorate the start of the conflict 100 years ago. Mark Trapmore gave a talk on the soldiers from Berden and a number of his artefacts from the war were on display. This took place in the new Manuden Village Community Centre.

The Christmas busstopshop took place on St Nicholas Day along with a visit from a Pizza van and Father Christmas! On the 13th we had another Friends of Berden Church Concert and this was followed a week later by the very popular carol service with the village choir and the children. The PCC and Friends of Berden Church presented John Burton with some wine for his fundraising efforts and support in the community at the service. Rob Talks was awarded a Community Achievement Award by Uttlesford Council for services to children and young people. He had been the Fete’s youngest chairman this year. Maurice Ancell launched his latest book on memories of Priory Farm. All proceeds will go to the Friends of Berden Church. Carol singing took place on the 19th December. We had very high winds and flooding at the beginning of the year with a warm Spring and Summer but we finish with quiet, cool conditions; cloudy but no snow.

Mark Trapmore
Village History Recorder