Recorder's Report 2014

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The Social Club celebrated the New Year with drinks in the Village Hall on the 1st January. Berden Social Club AGM took place on the 8th. The Quiz evening in October remains popular but it was the last one to be hosted by Dave Barnes. The fireworks evening was also popular and the Social club were able to purchase new bar furniture thanks to a grant from the Stansted Airport Community Trust. The Social club is still low on volunteers to join its committee and would like younger people to join. On the 18th January the Manuden and Berden History Society was given a talk on the history of the Herts and Essex Observer by its editor; Paul Winspear. It was a popular and interesting talk but the future of local papers remains under threat. The Busstop shop held in December raised over £800 and there were plenty of people who have joined the Friends of Berden Church 50/50 club. Dr Annette Lort of Newport Surgery retired after 20 years at the Practice last month. Berden Carol singers raised £200 for the Essex Air Ambulance last month.

Canon Chris Bishop former Vicar of Berden retired from his position as Chaplain at Stansted Airport after 29 years in the role. The Parish Council met on the 1st and discussed the Village hall extension plans, flooding and pothole issues around the village. The village sent various items of clothing etc to Cal Aid which was a charity set up to support the refugees who have been gathering in Calais.

The Friends of Berden Church launched the 50/50 club on the 4th March with a free pint on offer thanks to Fergus McMullen. The Annual Spring Litter collection took place on the 13th, two heavy washing line poles, a road sign and an entire exhaust system were some of the highlights found. It was a well supported event. The annual Fish Supper took place on Good Friday, 25th March. It was once again a well attended event at the Church. This was followed by the creation of the Easter garden on Saturday supervised by Jenny Arnell and put together by some children of the village. Dog owners were reminded that they should clear up after their dogs and keep them under control at all times. Broadband speeds continue to be an issue but the Green box in the village will soon be connected to the local exchange via fibre-optic cable.

A new bus service will be starting this month but it must be pre booked. It is a new service run by the council and replaces to No 10 Saturday bus to Bishop Stortford. Sandra Rees-Pedler will be giving a talk about her role as a nursing matron at Addenbrookes to the Women in Berden group on the 5th April. She has been a resident of Berden for over 21 years.

There was a fire in Berden in Dewes Green Road which destroyed a vintage 1949 Riley car. It was caused by an electrical fault. A fundraising disco was held on the 20th May in aid of the Village Hall extension. The Berden Book club continues to meet on a monthly basis. They are currently reading “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George. A catalogue of the Church kneelers and a restoration programme is being organised by Sue Griffiths. They were produced by various individuals over the course of many years. The Busstop shop opened again on the 14th May and raised £264.

Judge Jane McConnell has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday honours list for her work with IPSEA a national disability charity which gives legal advice for families about special educational needs. Local footpaths have been cut and are now much better. Uttlesford along with the rest of the UK voted to leave the European Union. The local result was 51% leave, 49% remain. The national result was 52% leave, 48 % remain. The Prime Minister, David Cameron resigned and was replaced by Theresa May.

David Williams resigned as Chairman and Councillor for Berden Parish Council after 13 years. Berden Neighbourhood watch continues and is organised by area basis. The Women in Berden Car Rally took place on the 5th July. The Berden Fete took place on the 16th July and was a huge success. However two days prior to the event, publicity posters around the area were changed with a notice saying that it had been cancelled. Members of the village were utilised and the signs were taken down. The culprit is unknown. £11455 was raised and split between the Church and the Village hall.

Berden Churchyard won second place in an Essex wide competition organised by the Rural Community Council of Essex. £200 was awarded. Ken Strafford was thanked for all his hard work in maintaining the churchyard and organising a team of volunteers who have continued to keep the yard neat and tidy. Maurice Ancell celebrated his 90th Birthday and continues to write for the parish magazine. St Nicholas Church had a new flushing toilet installed this month. This will enable it to host concerts in the new year and help those caught short at a service. The Churchwarden no longer has stir to the old compost toilet with a stick.

A car wash took place at Berden Village Hall on the 17th September in order to raise funds for the Village hall extension. Breakfast was also provided. Laura Sugar, daughter of Steve and Tricia of St Nicholas Field came 5th at the Rio Paralympics in both the one and two hundred meters sprint final.

The village came together to thank David Williams for his work as Chairman and local councillor for Berden over the past 13 years. A tea took place on 2nd October and was well attended. The Berden Boys Choir provided entertainment along with a solo rendition bt Toby Coomber. The ever popular Berden Social Club quiz night took place on the 14th October. The social club also organised two bonfire collection days around the village. A service that is greatly appreciated! The Harvest Supper took place in the Village hall on the 22nd October and was well attended. Broadband continues to be a problem. Many people are complaining to BT and a village meeting has been called to discuss the proposal of signing up with a company called Gigaclear.

The resurfacing of Dewes Green Road will take place very soon and will improve safety for all the residents in that part of the village. Canon Chris Bishop gave a talk on his time as Stansted Airport Chaplain on the 1st November to the Women in Berden group. On the 5th the village had the annual bonfire celebration at Berden Hall. Over 400 people attended. On the 19th November an Auction of promises was held at the Village hall to raise funds for the extension. It was chaired by Chris Bishop and over £4000 was raised!

The Bus stop shop opened for Christmas on the 10th December. It raised money for the Village Hall and the Church. The Children’s Christmas party took place on the 17th December and was a very popular event. Father Christmas attended and gave presents to the children. Over 120 people attended the Carol Service, carols were sung by the Berden Choir led by Sue Williams who is retiring after 14 years. Fibre optic broadband is now promised for April 2017 and will be sent to the green cabinet in the village. Local resident and former member of the Mother’s Union; Ann Sumner died and a thanksgiving service was held on the 29th December at the Church. Canon Chris Bishop took the service.2016 ended with the Social Club New Year’s Eve party at the village hall.
The year ended very mild once again. A warm summer followed by a damp autumn and winter.


Mark Trapmore
Berden Local History Recorder