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Excerpts from Remembrance Books by Year 5 pupils of Sedgefield Primary School, 2017
Sacrificing Soldiers
I'm happy we are safe

All I can hear is bombs, gun shots in the distance
Lying in the grass; poppies blowing
whilst the grass slowly grows
when soldiers fight on and on, we pray to stop bombs

I kept hearing bombs every minute
while I sing songs
to pray to stop bombs
where poppys grow

we lay with love with poppys above us
with poppys supporting us
they may have died
but they saved our lives
by Caidan King
--------------- Poppy petals are red
their leaves are green
soldiers gave their lives for us
all the suffering they have seen

Brave young men were sent to fight
they left their homes and country
all to give us our freedom
so many died for you and me

We all now think of them
on this Remembrance Day
we pray for all who died
wearing poppies for our grief today
by Finley Lowther

------------------ Soldiers at War

A century ago this country suffered a war with Germany
Soldiers started to die of shell shock and disease
Then everyone decided to fight for their FREEDOM.
by Lauren Forster & Evie Legender


Steve’s Nature Diary

At this time of the year, if is frosty, it is well worth having a closer look at one of nature’s wonders: a spider’s web. Spiders do get a lot of bad press, but you must admit a web is an engineering masterpiece. Spiders belong to class Arachnida along with harvestmen, mites, scorpions and false scorpions. There are 680 species of British spiders (280 are money spiders) and most have eight eyes and none of them are at all dangerous to humans. It is estimated that in grassland reserves such as Durham Wildlife Trust Rainton Meadows or Tees Valley Wildlife Trust Maze Park, an acre of meadow can have as many as two million spiders.

British spiders catch live prey such as flies, bees and moths. All spiders produce silk (for a variety of functions) but not all use silk to catch food. Some families such as the wolf spiders and the jumping spiders use their remarkably acute eyesight to spot prey. They then overpower it either by speed or by jumping on it. Many families however, produce some kind of web to ensnare their prey. The most iconic are the orb-webs built by several spider families. This classic web is the one made by the garden spider (Araneus diadematus) . These orb-webs incorporate sticky silk which holds the captured prey long enough for the spider to strike. Other webs are nonsticky and are designed so that the legs of prey get tangled. Once caught, the prey is subdued by the injection of poison via hollow fangs. Digestive juices are then secreted over the food and, after a while, the liquid ‘soup’ is sucked up.

Although they do produce potent venoms with which they immobilise and kill their prey, the vast majority of British spiders cannot break human or pet skin with their fangs. There are a few species that if provoked, can bite and inject venom, but this usually happens when trapped inside clothing or bedclothes, or poked with a finger! The effect of a bite is usually very mild but, as with bee and wasp stings, people’s responses vary widely. Most rashes or wounds attributed to a ‘spider bite’ have other causes – it’s almost never a spider.

Although the sight, or even the thought of spiders makes many people distinctly uncomfortable, we should remember that British spiders are largely harmless and do lots of good for people. Spiders are so numerous that they are a vital part of the ecosystems on which we all depend. They catch and eat many of the insects (houseflies, midges, wasps) which bother us in our homes and gardens and help to prevent the build-up of agricultural pests, reducing the need for artificial pesticides. Spider silk is currently of interest to medical researchers as a potential material for making artificial joints and as an aid to regenerating severed nerve fibres. Finally, many people gain immense pleasure from seeing frosted orb-webs on a winter morning and from watching and studying the fascinating lives and amazing forms and behaviours of our native spiders. So next time you are out and about keep an eye out and have a closer look at a spider’s web. For more information visit: http://britishspiders.org.uk/wiki2015/index.php?title=BAS_Factsheets


PC Gavin Smith

In the New Year, Durham Constabulary will celebrate the memory of PC Gavin Smith, pictured left, with a fundraising Afternoon Tea in aid of Butterwick Hospice.


Do you have an interest in shaping the education of the children

Do you have an interest in shaping the education of the children of Sedgefield and skills you could offer? Sedgefield Primary School is looking for two new members of our Governing Body. Our Governors are friendly, welcoming and dedicated. They thoroughly enjoy their role and find it interesting and rewarding. If you are interested in finding out more, please ring the Headteacher, Andrea Cox, on 01740 620359 or email sedgefield.primary@durhamlearning.net and she will be happy to discuss the role of Governor in more detail.


Sedgefield Rectory Row Primary School

Did you go to this school in the 50/60/70/80's? If so we hope to have a School Reunion on Sunday 18th February 2018 at 1pm in Sedgefield Social Club. Come along and meet friends you haven't seen since last Century! Bring partners, children etc., and PLEASE - SPREAD THE WORD! If you could let me know if you plan to attend that would be wonderful. Please email ellecoop@yahoo.com Thank you. Janice Cooper (nee Calvert)


Annual floral awards

In the annual floral awards, Sedgefield Civic Trust honoured the Bloomers with a Pride of Sedgefield award plus a gold medal for planting at the Vicar’s Dash, alongside the old rectory wall. Ceddesfeld Hall was judged Best Public Building for the many gardens planted and tended by the Bloom team.


More Blooming Good News

At the recent It’s Your Neighbourhood awards, organised by Northumbria in Bloom, Sedgefield was recognised in the top two categories. Rectory Row was judged to be Thriving, while Crispin Court, Claremont Grove, Caden Court and Eden Drive were Outstanding. Gardens at 5 Caden Court and 74 Eden Drive also recently won awards from livin housing provider.

The newly created Stepping Through Time Garden at Ceddesfeld Hall has been shortlisted for the County Durham Environment Awards, to be announced at a ceremony at Durham’s Radisson Blu Hotel. Results will be too late for the December News, so look out for stop press information around the village.

On a more sombre note, Bloomer numbers have become somewhat depleted during the last year, as several members have been very ill and sadly, we have lost three valued members of the team. So we are looking for new recruits. Please do call Norma on 620091 or email norma@neal.myzen.co.uk.

We turn out every Wednesday at 10 am in Ceddesfeld Gardens. (with time off for Christmas and New Year) or come along and meet the Bloomers at our Christmas coffee morning (see diary.) If you need further persuasion, maybe our poetry offering will do the trick!

You don’t have to be a Titchmarsh,
Monty Don or Mr Bloom.
Just come along and join the team,
Relieve the autumn gloom
with litter picking, weeding and sweeping leaves,
In no time at all, you’ll forget your dodgy back and dicky knees.
Whether planting or digging
Or swinging an axe,
There’s always plenty to do,
No time to relax.
So dig out your wellies,
Your gloves and your tools
And join with us Bloomers -
We have very simple rules
Just turn up on Wednesdays,
Spare an hour or two
To keep Sedgefield Blooming.
We’re counting on you!


Sedgefield Remembers our local servicemen...

Sedgefield LHS and the Village Veterans continue to organise commemorations at Sedgefield war memorial, remembering the sacrifices made by Sedgefield men and their families 100 years ago. In October, two men who lost their lives within three days of each other in 1917 - Lawrence Gallacher, who was killed in action on the 23rd and Thomas Dryden Ferguson, who died of wounds on the 26th.

Both names are on the on Church Lads’ Memorial Shield beside the font in St Edmund’s, along with that of Lawrence’s brother John, killed in 1915. The two Gallacher boys, both 19 when they died, are also remembered on the Winterton memorial, as their father was an attendant at the hospital, where he regularly took part in amateur dramatics and Glee Club concerts. Private Lawrence Gallacher, 10th Battalion DLI is remembered at Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the world, last resting place of many who served at Passchendaele, where the battle raged for months from July 31st – November 10th.

Thomas Dryden Ferguson of Cross Street, born in Sedgefield in 1892, enlisted in Hartlepool on 12 May 1915, serving as a gunner with the 15th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. The largest arm of the artillery, responsible for medium calibre guns, howitzers and heavier mortars, they were deployed close to the front line. A family photograph shows Tommy, looking very smart in his uniform. Uncle Tommy, as he is still known to the family, died of wounds on 26 October 1917, aged 25. He is remembered at Lijsseenthoek Cemetery in Belgium and is still very much a part of his family’s history. Three family members came along in October to pay their respects - great niece Joy Armstrong, great great niece Amy McGowan and great nephew Ian Ferguson, whose recently arrived baby grandson is named after the family’s war hero - Thomas Dryden Ferguson.

Our final commemoration of 2017 will be at 10.45am on Wednesday December 27th, when we will remember John James Marshall, who lost his life on Boxing Day 1917. Please spare 15 minutes from your Christmas celebrations to come along in gratitude and respect for another son of Sedgefield lost in battle 100 years ago.


… and at Winterton

On Friday 10th November, a joint service by the Royal British Legion and Sedgefield Village Veterans was held at St Luke's War Memorial. The banners of The Veterans and the Durham Light Infantry(TA) were paraded. The service was attended by Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Andrea Flynne; Sedgefield Mayor and County Councillor David Brown and leader of Sedgefield Council Mel Carr. Prayers were read by Rev Michael Thompson.

Also present were staff from NETPark, members of the public, a contingent of students from the Community College and by no means least, Year 5 of Sedgefield Primary School, who gave a rousing performance of 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary'. Year 5 children then read poems which they had written.

Wreaths and Poppy crosses were laid to remember the Fallen, but in particular to remember the patients, ex military personnel, incarcerated in Winterton Hospital until they died. Their names are on the Winterton Memorial.


Food for Thought

Residents and businesses of Sedgefield are to be invited to help make the village a more welcoming place for people affected by Dementia. Volunteers are being sought to give their time, resources (or both) to the “Dementia Friendly Communities” programme, a movement working towards positive change for Alzheimer sufferers.

As the baby boomer generation ages Dementia is becoming one of the greatest challenges for modern society. It is understood that over 120 families in the Sedgefield area are now living with Dementia, a condition which affects not only the sufferer but also each member of their family. “Dementia Friendly Communities (Sedgefield)” aims to foster values of understanding, respect and support around Dementia and to embed these values in Sedgefield so that people with dementia will feel included and involved in the wider community, and have more choice and control in their day to day lives. To this end we are aiming to get both businesses and individuals “on board” to help make Sedgefield a Dementia Friendly Community.

Our first aim is to set up a “Memory Café” where people who have been diagnosed can come along, together with their carers/family. There, through conversation and activities they will be able to access support from others in similar situations and from Dementia Friends. They and their families will also be able to access advice from professionals in this field.

If you feel you could help you could do so in a number of ways. You might provide tea, coffee and biscuits for example; volunteer to act as a Dementia Friend, play games with clients, do puzzles or simply just be a friendly face who chats and reminisces about the good old days. Whatever your strength, find out more by attending our Launch Event at Sedgefield Fire Station on Friday, December 15th between 11am and 2pm. If you would like any extra information in the meantime, feel free to call Jill Anderson on 07940 111442, Andrew Wells on 07809 893086 or Dorothy Anderson on 07773 286743.


Grant Funding: for Businesses and Farmers in Sedgefield Area

Almost £400,000 has been committed to businesses, farmers and rural community groups across the Durham Coast and Lowlands area through LEADER, a funding pot from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). The area covers rural areas between Dawdon in the north to Newton Aycliffe in the south so Sedgefield and surrounding areas including Foxton, Mordon, Bradbury, Fishburn & Bishop Middleham are all eligible for funding between £2,500 and £180,000.

Across the patch LEADER has funded the likes of robotic milking systems, glamping pods, building extensions and the purchase of equipment including a cnc machine, hayledge packaging system and digger. Applications are particularly welcomed by:
-Farmers who want to invest in new innovative pieces of kit such as GPS linked Variable Rate fertiliser spreader, Mobile handling units, crushes and ID systems.
-People starting or developing an existing tourism activity business or developing accommodation whether hotel, b&b or glamping.
-Applicants wishing to start or develop an existing food and drink based business.
-Any business based in the area who are looking to expand and take on or increase hours of current staff members.
-Farmers looking to diversify into non-agricultural based service

Project Coordinator, Sarah explains “LEADER is European funding so I encourage any business or those thinking about starting a business to come forward before the funding disappears. From what we have in the pipeline only 30% of the budget will be left for new projects. The Sedgefield area is new to this funding so it would be fantastic to continue to support the area”.
To discuss an idea or for more information contact Sarah Marshall-Newcomb on 03000 266894 or sarah.newcomb@durham.gov.uk