St Osyth Remembers ‘THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME’

St Osyth Remembers ‘THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME’ One Hundred Years Ago This Day

Residents gather at the Village War Memorial before the service

Today the Royal British Legion and local residents gather at the village war memorial to remember the Battle of the Somme, that began one hundred year ago today the 1st July 1916. The ‘Somme Offensive’ as it was known in military circles, lasted until the 18th November 1916 and was the most costly in terms of British and Empire troop losses through those killed and injured , with British Army alone bearing the greatest losses ever suffered, with 57,470 casualties.
It was during this battle that tanks were first used on the battlefield and for the first time the aeroplane played a very important part in both attack and reconnaissance roles. The phrase “Lions led by donkeys” was an expression of disgust at the loss of life where troops (the lions) were sent into battle by the generals (the donkeys) who were thought not to understand on the ground the disastrous results of their orders.

Chairs had been brought to the memorial for the elderly to use

Some of those present standing round the monument waiting to start.

The R.B.L. Standards are held aloft ready for the service to begin

The Lord’s Prayer being said at the opening of the service

Revd. Sharon Miles opens the service of remembrance with words of welcome to those attending, then leading everyone in the opening with the Lord’s Prayer. The Bugler , Ann Headworth, a member of the Clacton-on-Sea Cooperative Band, is standing to the right of Sharon and she will sound out the Last Post and the Reveille to begin and close the two minutes silence. You can listen on the two short movies below.

The Exhortation is said by Neil Williams, then the Bugler sounds off ‘The Last Post’ to begin two minutes of silence

The last 32 seconds of the two minute silence – then ‘The Reveille’ is sounded.

Mr. Basil Hutley retired President of the Royal British Legion, St Osyth Branch (above) lays the wreath on behalf of the Legion. The words in the centre of the wreath draw attention to the length of the ‘Somme Campaign’, which achieved so very little, for such a great loss of life one hundred years ago in 1916.

A reading by Mr Laithwaite

There are three short movies (of questionable quality) above. Click the arrow in the centre to run them.
Unfortunately these may not run on an older browser, but need an updated browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or Firefox.

Reveille has sounded, the R.B.L. wreath has been laid

Revd. Sharon begins the final prayer and a general blessing to those present this morning

The Standards are ready to be lowered for the National Anthem to conclude the service.

A carpet of poppies on the laid on the Steps

The R.B.L. wreath laid on the bed of poppies records the final thought for those who died during the Somme Offensive.


Summer Show 2016


Some of the members and visitors gathered after the Prize Giving.

Once again the Society is in the Village Hall showing off the entries submitted to the various competitions that make up the Summer Show, held this year on 2nd July 2016.
The weather in the weeks preceding the show had been a combination of everything ‘bad’. We had very strong winds on some days swirling and gusting 80 mph. We had very heavy and continuous rain which caused many roads and gardens to flood, which whilst in no way a threat to life, was a major problem for many residents with the need to clear up when the weather abated.
The numbers of entries were well down for this show, but the saying “quality not quantity” could well be applied this time as some very impressive entries were on show!

You may just be able to read the display notice, but if you cannot the entry of Geraniums
are from the St Osyth, Church of England, Primary School. The Society is always keen
to encourage young gardeners and therefore is pleased to see this entry.

Selling Raffle tickets. Christine and Stephen

Visitors admiring one of the Flower Tables

Dulcie and Sue plant sales stall. Christine just visiting.

A table of Home Crafts. One for a corner cupboard.

The awards presentation party, from left to right are Christine Harman, Vice-chairman and Show Secretary on the stage, Lesley Grimwood our Treasurer, Dulcie Evans our Chairman and Correspondence Secretary and extreme right Stephen Cole, (who just happens to be Chairman of the Village Hall committee) and today has been asked to present the awards to our Summer Show prize winners.

After putting a caption on the picture above I think it might be of interest to print here the names and roles of all those who work so hard to make these shows a success. The Committee is led by Dulcie Evans as Chairman and Correspondence Secretary; Christine Harman is vice-chairman and Show Secretary; Leslie Grimwood is Treasurer; Terence Lidington our Meetings Secretary; Susan McAree Membership Secretary; and members with no specific office, Alf Butters, Sue Butters, Christine Chadbourne, Elizabeth Dawtry, John Wood and Maureen Wood. This is the team that run the Point Clear and St Osyth Horticultural Society for the benefit of all our residents and visitors!



Historical Society Visit


On Saturday 16th July the St Osyth Historical Society set out by coach to visit the market town of EYE in Suffolk. The visit organised by Joy Clinton, had picked a very nice sunny day for our outing. This visit was not just to look around a building Linden House, but also the opportunity to visit other parts of Eye, which has a large number of listed building within its boundaries.

Members arriving at the Village Hall awaiting the coach for transport to Eye

After a journey of only one hour

we have arrived at Linden House

Linden House is one of the most important buildings in this historic Suffolk town. The house originated as a Tudor period farmhouse, being converted to a Georgian townhouse in the 18th century. The brick skin over its timber frame has turned it into a smart classical building, retaining a homely atmosphere in its simple interior layout. Once occupied by eccentric sisters, two of whom were leading suffragettes. The house was also used in a Miss Marple thriller. The Ground floor and first floors contain many portraits, family effects and varied, interesting items of history and of foreign travel.
Eye is a small market town in the north of the County of Suffolk. The town is around 4 miles south of Diss, 17.5 miles north of Ipswich and 23 miles south-west of Norwich and 48 miles from St Osyth. Historically Eye (a name is derived from the Old English word for ‘island’), would have been surrounded by water or marsh, with the church of St Peter and St Paul (pictured below) and a castle mound of William I’s time on higher ground.

Relaxing in the sun in the garden of Linden House, where soon we will have tea and cakes etc. to fortify
us for the look around Eye.

This photo shows the facade of Linden House which is recognised by a row of five pollarded Lime trees

Mr Charles Michell the owner

Mr Michell as Eye’s Town Mayor

Mrs Michell also the Town Mayor

The Church of St Peter & St Paul seen as approached
from Eye Town centre. This magnificent 15th century
building in such a small Market Town, is much more
Cathedral like, than a usual English Parish Church.

A side view of the Church showing another entrance.

Views of the church are limited by buildings and trees.

The beautiful Rood Screen, now faded from earlier
glory, leads to the Altar (see description below)

The Christogram IHS on the roof comes from the first
three letters of the Greek IHSOYS -(Jesus)

The Church itself is hugely impressive and dates back to 1470. Inside there’s a 15C wooden rood screen with intricate carving, and paintings of kings, saints and bishops. The paintings have faded they have been partly restored and give an idea of the brilliant colours that would’ve been seen in the Middle Ages. The Church Tower (above) is also mighty impressive at over 101 feet/30 metres high – described as “One of the wonders of Suffolk”. The Church was probably rebuilt on the site of an older church, as was common in East Anglia during this period of prosperity. Hard to believe now but in the 15 and 16C East Anglia was, apart from London, the wealthiest and most densely populated area in England due, primarily, to the wool and cloth trade and the region’s strategic position facing the Low Countries across the sea.

Three members, Paul Harman and Martin Walsh and wife Joyce, waving to people,
less adventurous than themselves, in climbing the steps to the top of the castle.

The original castle was built on an artificial mound created as a defensive position, on which the fortification was built sometime after 1066. The castle came under attack in 1173 from the Earl of Norfolk, but was soon repaired but was later sacked in 1265 during ‘The Barons War’ and allowed to decay. Part of castle was used as a prison until the early 1600’s but by the 1700’s local people were taking away the stone from the ruin for their own domestic purposes, thus it remains a ruin today!

My Thanks for the Historical information on this page derived from Mr Michell’s talk to us and from Eye’s publicity information in print and on the Internet.

Music On The Meadow 2016

Business Association Village Treat

One of a number of pictures taken around the recreation ground to give an idea of the numbers present.
This opening picture showing in the background part of our St Osyth Priory.

On Saturday the 23rd July the St Osyth Business Association held what has become an annual event, the organisation of a free music event for all village residents and their friends. The entertainment gets going at 2 p.m. and finishes at 10 p.m.
Whilst the day was referred to as Music on the Meadow it was in fact held on the Cowley Park Recreation Ground in Mill Street and not only did the Business Association arrange for Nine Musical Acts both Bands and Singers, but they ordered a brilliant hot sunny day so that everyone got maximum enjoyment from attending that afternoon or evening. It was certainty a good time out for families with children who could enjoy ‘Giggle City’ with its bouncy castles, slides, trampoline’s etc. and various stalls around the ground selling goodies including Ice Cream for some and a licensed ‘Beer Tent’ for others!
We all owe a BIG VOTE OF THANKS to those Business Association members who organised our day!
The photographs below were taken between 3.50 p.m. at 5.30 p.m.

There were stalls and features all around the ground

items of interest to show visitors and goods for sale

Two Gladiators fight to the ‘death’ with air filled clubs

See for yourself who lost this round, Down but not Out

Two pictures above show the ‘early birds’ who arrived at or a little before the start
to get a prime position in front of the performers stage, listening to a succession of
bands and acts during the afternoon and evening.

A few more general views of the Cowley Park assemblage and immediately above is part of ‘Giggle City’ .

One of the musicians.

Kiddies roundabout.

another of the musicians.

A really lovely day, thanks to St Osyth Business Association. It was brilliant weather from start to finish, which always makes an open air event so successful. The crowd attending all seemed to be enjoying themselves and many groups were pre-arranged with friends and neighbours meeting up and sitting together, sharing food and drink as provided by those in a particular party. This event is exactly what people understand as a village activity, never to be seen in an urban town.

You will have read in our Parish Magazine, in the Council Chairman Sonia Grantham’s monthly reports, that Mr Mark Shuttleworth and his trustee board are retiring from the management of this facility after something like twenty years in charge. As you can see looking around the ground, they return Cowley Park to the Parish Council in good heart!


Aircraft Museum Point Clear

Open Day Sunday 21st August 2016

Once again the ‘Museum in the Bay’ is opening its doors to all members of the public who care to visit today to meet some members and former members of the UK Military Services and if they wish for a nominal £1, they can tour the museum, housed in the Napoleonic Martello Tower ‘A’.
The Museum building houses memorabilia from all three services but with concentration on the Royal Air Force and World War II, and in particular the part played by the United States Air Force, with the Museum itself being dedicated to a US airman Raymond E. King, who crashed off Clacton on Sea.
His wrecked P51 Mustang fighter aircraft in which the he died, was recovered from the sea and, is on display inside the Museum
Many other displays of militaria and weapons of war are on various stalls around the old parking area, set up by their owner / enthusiasts, with some stalls having items for sale. With weather permitting the event was planned to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A view along the old car park area

One display with many hand weapons

All laid out. Hand weapons and machine gun

A full display of unexploded bomb treatment

Equipment used to de-fuse a German bomb

An actual bomb. Coins on top for size comparison

Female Naval personnel with a surface shelter.

A machine gun examined by two young men

The Martello Tower museum building. Entry £1. (picture from an earlier event)

The weather was kind as some early rain discouraged visitors at the start of the day, but visitors came in reasonable numbers seeming to come in bunches walking along the sea wall from the Car park. It was a warm afternoon and the refreshment stalls and Ice Cream did a roaring trade, but it has to be admitted that this was a smaller function in that there were less items to view this year than on previous occasions.
For any keen photographer the £1 spent for an adult to go in and around the museum was an open sesame for panoramic views from the roof of the Tower, which covers views up and down the river Colne, Brightlingsea, Mersea Island and a view over the Orchards Holiday Park looking towards Clacton–on-Sea.

Machine Gun parts and equipment

Two tailors dummies wearing Swiss Army uniforms

Display of modern copies of a Knight’s helmet

A row of gleaming motor cycles with their proud owners

This picture left, shows Naval Cadets manning the Sea Wall to fire their weapons out to sea to avoid any possible chance of a visitor being in any was injured. The rifle I would guess was firing ordinary blanks, but the machine gun is adapted for display purposes and fires (or more correctly makes the sound of firing) using two gasses fed to the gun, which when the trigger is pulled allow a small quantity of the gases to mix and explode, just like a gun shot. There seems to be no time delay as it sounds exactly as a machine gun we may hear in a film.

People walking the sea wall towards the Museum

An information board outside the museum